noun, plural (especially collectively) skip·jack, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) skip·jacks for 1; skip·jacks for 2, 3.

any of various fishes that leap above the surface of the water, as a tuna, Euthynnus pelamis, or the bonito.
Entomology. click beetle.
Nautical. an American one-masted sailing vessel.

Origin of skipjack

First recorded in 1545–55; skip1 + jack1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skipjack

Historical Examples of skipjack

  • In the big barn doorway the Skipjack and Willie Ramsey appeared.

    Back o' the Moon

    Oliver Onions

  • Congratulate the Skipjack, with just a hint that he might have looked higher.

  • "And comes for it like the cattle to the scrubbing-stones," said the Skipjack.

    Magnum Bonum

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • "Yet the Skipjack seemed the most improbable one of all," said his mother.

    Magnum Bonum

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • "If I thought it was the Skipjack element," she said, smiling.

    Magnum Bonum

    Charlotte M. Yonge

British Dictionary definitions for skipjack


noun plural -jack or -jacks

Also called: skipjack tuna an important food fish, Katsuwonus pelamis, that has a striped abdomen and occurs in all tropical seas: family Scombridae (mackerels and tunas)
black skipjack a small spotted tuna, Euthynnus yaito, of Indo-Pacific seas
any of several other unrelated fishes, such as the alewife and bonito
nautical an American sloop used for oystering and as a yacht
another name for a click beetle

Word Origin for skipjack

C18: from skip 1 + jack 1
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 skipjack

1550s, "a pert shallow-brained fellow; a puppy, a whipper-snapper; a conceited fop or dandy" [OED], from skip (v.) + generic name jack (n.). Applied 1703 to tropical fishes with leaping tendencies. In reference to a kind of sailing boat used on Chesapeake Bay, attested from 1887.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper