[ skif ]
/ skɪf /


any of various types of boats small enough for sailing or rowing by one person.


Nearby words

  1. skied,
  2. skien,
  3. skier,
  4. skies,
  5. skiey,
  6. skiffle,
  7. skiing,
  8. skijoring,
  9. skikda,
  10. skil saw

Origin of skiff

1565–75; < early Italian schifo < Old High German scif ship1

Related formsskiff·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skiff

British Dictionary definitions for skiff


/ (skɪf) /


any of various small boats propelled by oars, sail, or motor

Word Origin for skiff

C18: from French esquif, from Old Italian schifo a boat, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German schif ship

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 skiff



"small boat," 1570s, from French esquif (1540s), from Italian schifo "little boat," from a Germanic source (e.g. Old High German scif "boat;" see ship (n.)). Originally the small boat of a ship.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper