a long pin of wood or metal for inserting through meat or other food to hold or bind it in cooking.
any similar pin for fastening or holding an item in place.

verb (used with object)

to fasten with or as if with a skewer.

Nearby words

  1. skew lines,
  2. skew symmetry,
  3. skew-symmetric,
  4. skewback,
  5. skewbald,
  6. skewerwood,
  7. skewgee,
  8. skewing,
  9. skewness,
  10. skewwhiff

Origin of skewer

First recorded in 1670–80; earlier skiver < ?

Related formsun·skew·ered, adjective

Can be confusedskew skewer



verb (used without object)

to turn aside or swerve; take an oblique course.
to look obliquely; squint.

verb (used with object)

to give an oblique direction to; shape, form, or cut obliquely.
Slang. to make conform to a specific concept, attitude, or planned result; slant: The television show is skewed to the young teenager.
to distort; depict unfairly.


having an oblique direction or position; slanting.
having a part that deviates from a straight line, right angle, etc.: skew gearing.
Mathematics. (of a dyad or dyadic) equal to the negative of its conjugate.
(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.
Statistics. (of a distribution) having skewness.


an oblique movement, direction, or position.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for skewer

British Dictionary definitions for skewer



a long pin for holding meat in position while being cooked, etc
a similar pin having some other function
chess a tactical manoeuvre in which an attacked man is made to move and expose another man to capture


(tr) to drive a skewer through or fasten with a skewer

Word Origin for skewer

C17: probably from dialect skiver



placed in or turning into an oblique position or course
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
  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
(of a statistical distribution) not having equal probabilities above and below the mean; non-normal
distorted or biased


an oblique, slanting, or indirect course or position
psychol the system of relationships in a family in which one parent is extremely dominating while the other parent tends to be meekly compliant


to take or cause to take an oblique course or direction
(intr) to look sideways; squint
(tr) to place at an angle
(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 skewer
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for skewer



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.