See more synonyms for skinner on
  1. a person or thing that skins.
  2. a person who prepares or deals in skins or hides.
  3. a person who drives draft animals, as mules or oxen.
  4. the operator of a piece of heavy equipment used in clearing land or in construction work, as a tractor or bulldozer.
  5. any of a band of irregular cavalry operating in the neutral ground of Westchester County, New York, during the American Revolution and claiming loyalty to both the British and American troops but preying on all persons indiscriminately.Compare cowboy(def 5).

Origin of skinner

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at skin, -er1


  1. B(ur·rhus) F(rederic) [bur-uh s] /ˈbɜr əs/, 1904–90, U.S. psychologist and writer.
  2. Cornelia Otis,1901–79, U.S. actress and author.
  3. her fatherOtis,1858–1942, U.S. actor. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for skinner

slayer, boner, skinner, processor

Examples from the Web for skinner

Contemporary Examples of skinner

Historical Examples of skinner

British Dictionary definitions for skinner


  1. a person who prepares or deals in animal skins


  1. B (urrhus) F (rederic). 1904–90, US behavioural psychologist. His "laws of learning", derived from experiments with animals, have been widely applied to education and behaviour therapy
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 skinner

late 14c., "a dealer in skins," from skin (n.); as "one who skins," 1690s, agent noun from skin (v.). The surname is attested from mid-13c. Also in U.S. use "one who strips, robs, or plunders;" the name given to a band of marauders who committed depredations on Loyalists in New York during the Revolution. Cf. Old Norse skinnari "a dealer in skins; a skinner, tanner."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

skinner in Medicine


[skĭnər]B(urrhus) F(rederick) 1904-1990
  1. American psychologist. A leading behaviorist, Skinner influenced the fields of psychology and education with his theories of stimulus-response behavior.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.