See more synonyms for skew on
verb (used with object)
  1. to give an oblique direction to; shape, form, or cut obliquely.
  2. Slang. to make conform to a specific concept, attitude, or planned result; slant: The television show is skewed to the young teenager.
  3. to distort; depict unfairly.
  1. having an oblique direction or position; slanting.
  2. having a part that deviates from a straight line, right angle, etc.: skew gearing.
  3. Mathematics. (of a dyad or dyadic) equal to the negative of its conjugate.
  4. (of an arch, bridge, etc.) having the centerline of its opening forming an oblique angle with the direction in which its spanning structure is built.
  5. Statistics. (of a distribution) having skewness.
  1. an oblique movement, direction, or position.
  2. Also called skew chisel. a wood chisel having a cutting edge set obliquely.

Origin of skew

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English skewen to slip away, swerve < Middle Dutch schuwen to get out of the way, shun, derivative of schu (Dutch schuw) shy1; (adj.) derivative of the v. (probably influenced by askew); (noun) derivative of the v. and adj.
Related formsun·skewed, adjective
Can be confusedskew skewer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for skewed

Contemporary Examples of skewed

Historical Examples of skewed

British Dictionary definitions for skewed


  1. placed in or turning into an oblique position or course
  2. machinery having a component that is at an angle to the main axis of an assembly or is in some other way asymmetricala skew bevel gear
  3. maths
    1. composed of or being elements that are neither parallel nor intersecting as, for example, two lines not lying in the same plane in a three-dimensional space
    2. (of a curve) not lying in a plane
  4. (of a statistical distribution) not having equal probabilities above and below the mean; non-normal
  5. distorted or biased
  1. an oblique, slanting, or indirect course or position
  2. psychol the system of relationships in a family in which one parent is extremely dominating while the other parent tends to be meekly compliant
  1. to take or cause to take an oblique course or direction
  2. (intr) to look sideways; squint
  3. (tr) to place at an angle
  4. (tr) to distort or bias

Word Origin for skew

C14: from Old Norman French escuer to shun, of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch schuwen to avoid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for skewed



late 15c., "to turn aside" (intransitive), from Old North French eskiuer "shy away from, avoid," Old French eschiver (see eschew). Transitive sense of "turn (something) aside" is from 1570s. Meaning "depict unfairly" first recorded 1872, on notion of being "give oblique direction to," hence "to distort, to make slant." Statistical sense dates from 1929. Related: Skewed; skewing. The adjectival meaning "slanting, turned to one side" is recorded from c.1600, from the verb; noun meaning "slant, deviation" first attested 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

skewed in Science


  1. A transformation of coordinates in which one coordinate is displaced in one direction in proportion to its distance from a coordinate plane or axis. A rectangle, for example, that undergoes skew is transformed into a parallelogram. Also called shear
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.