verb (used with object), skived, skiv·ing.

to split or cut, as leather, into layers or slices.
to shave, as hides.
to finish the turning of (a metal object) by feeding a tool against it tangentially.

Origin of skive

1815–25; perhaps < Old Norse skīfa slice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for skive




(tr) to shave or remove the surface of (leather)

Word Origin for skive

C19: from Old Norse skifa; related to English dialect shive a slice of bread




(when intr, often foll by off) British informal to evade (work or responsibility)

Word Origin for skive

C20: of unknown origin
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 skive

"split or cut into strips, pare off, grind away," 1825, of Scandinavian origin, cf. Old Norse skifa "to cut, split," from Proto-Germanic *skif-, from Proto-Indo-European *skei- "to cut, split" (see shed (v.)). Related: Skived; skiving.


"evade duty," usually with off, 1919, probably from earlier sense "move lightly and quickly, dart" (1854), of unknown origin. Related: Skived; skiving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper