- apt to start or shy: a skittish horse.
- restlessly or excessively lively: a skittish mood.
- fickle; uncertain.
- shy; coy.
Origin of skittish
Examples from the Web for skittish
In the Senate, Republicans are skittish about border security (among other issues, but mainly border security).Today’s GOP vs. Tomorrow’s GOP on Immigration
June 19, 2013
Banks were just too skittish to loan out their new reserves.Why Wall Street Traders Are Bullish on Obama
September 24, 2012
The White House has been so skittish over the Republican attacks on the bill that Obama barely mentions it on the campaign trail.Obama's Good News on Health Insurance
September 22, 2011
VIRGO As skittish as you can be, you tap into a new confidence and ease now.What the Stars Hold for Your Week
Starsky + Cox
July 30, 2011
Without the support of Republicans who ran on no-new-taxes pledges, Boehner would have to woo Democrats skittish of Medicare cuts.8 Great Opinion Pieces on the Debt Crisis
July 12, 2011
"There's only about a dozen guests there now, so you needn't get skittish," says he.Shorty McCabe
Usually he was not skittish nor afraid of trains or engines.Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Sunny South</p>
Laura Lee Hope
The horse is "skittish" and playful in the morning, not so much so at night.The Story of the Mind
James Mark Baldwin
"Shady says the roan's too skittish for any of the young ladies—" he suggested.Blue Bonnet's Ranch Party
C. E. Jacobs
Of course it's silly for a girl who's nearly nineteen to be as skittish as I am.Otherwise Phyllis
- playful, lively, or frivolous
- difficult to handle or predict
- rare coy
Word Origin and History for skittish
early 15c., "very lively, frivolous," perhaps from Scandinavian base *skyt- (stem of Old Norse skjota "to shoot, launch, move quickly"), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, to chase, to throw, to project" (see shoot (v.)). Sense of "shy, nervous, apt to run" first recorded c.1500, of horses. Related: Skittishly; skittishness.