verb (used without object)

to go, run, or glide lightly or rapidly.
to skim along a surface.
Angling. to draw a lure or a baited hook over the water with a skipping motion.

verb (used with object)

to cause to skitter.

Origin of skitter

1835–45; skit, variant of skite1 + -er6 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skittered

Contemporary Examples of skittered

  • Keith had me do this as I skittered across the gym like a giraffe at watering hole.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Does Sexercise Work?

    Meghan Pleticha

    May 26, 2010

Historical Examples of skittered

  • He skittered on all fours till he reached the middle of the path.

    The Best Made Plans

    Everett B. Cole

  • I skittered off toward the door to the stage, because that was the easiest direction.

    No Great Magic

    Fritz Reuter Leiber

  • They skittered across the floor, one of them slipping through the heating-grating.


    Cory Doctorow

  • He skittered over the water, going down and coming up, until he had leaped seven times.

  • She was shrieking, laughing as she skittered past him, clutching a gleaming gold helmet.

    Dream Town

    Henry Slesar

British Dictionary definitions for skittered



(intr often foll by off) to move or run rapidly or lightly; scamper
to skim or cause to skim lightly and rapidly, as across the surface of water
(intr) angling to draw a bait lightly over the surface of water

Word Origin for skitter

C19: probably from dialect skite to dash about; related to Old Norse skjōta to shoot
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 skittered



"to run rapidly," 1845, frequentative of skite "to dart, run quickly" (1721), perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse skjota "to shoot, launch, move quickly, avoid (a blow)," or Norwegian dialectal skutla "glide rapidly"); see skittish. As a noun from 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper