Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. skilful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Skilful; intelligent; experienced.
  • Same as skelly.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • It was what he had been used to see as a boy when his parents were alive, for his father before him had been a "skeely" man in that line.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • Soon not a boat was left in port; even those whose weather-wise "skeely" old skippers had counselled caution, at length, against their will and better judgment, were shamed into starting.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • On the last day of the time fixed by him, the skeely man was thatching a cottage at the Woollaw.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • Ochiltree, is very skeely and auld-farrant about mony things, as the diseases of cows and horse, and sic like, and I am sure be disna want to be at Tannonburgh the day for naething, since he insists on't this gate; and, if your leddyship pleases, I'll drive him there in the taxed-cart in an hour's time.

    The Antiquary

  • Eh, man, Edie! but she was a trimmer --- it wad hae taen a skeely man to hae squared wi 'her!

    The Antiquary

  • I learned shortly, that his father and mother had arrived, which was one comfort; but that matters with poor Mungo were striding on from bad to worse, being pronounced, by a skeely doctor, to be in a galloping consumption -- and not able to be removed home, a thing that the laddie freaked and pined for night and day.

    The Life of Mansie Wauch tailor in Dalkeith

  • She was a kind woman, and seemed skeely about horned beasts.

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian

  • Eh, man, Edie! but she was a trimmer -- it wad hae taen a skeely man to hae squared wi 'her!

    The Antiquary — Volume 02

  • His man-servant was accordingly dispatched on horseback to the Well for Dr. Quackleben; while, upon the suggestion of one of his maids, "that Mrs. Dods was an uncommon skeely body about a sick-bed," the wench was dismissed to supplicate the assistance of the gudewife of the Cleikum, which she was not, indeed, wont to refuse whenever it could be useful.

    St. Ronan's Well

  • For the hand is truer to the soul than the face: it has no moods, it borrows no expressions, and she read the Richard that she knew and loved in these long fingers, stained by his skeely trade and scored with cuts commemorative of adventure and bronzed with golden weather, and the broad knuckles that were hollowed between the bones as usually only frail hands are, just as his strong character was fissured by reserve and fastidiousness and all the delicacies that one does not expect to find in the robust.

    The Judge

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Comments

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  • He's a scientist working with explosives.

    But I'm home now and look what OED says:

    "variant of skilly a. Sc. and north."

    September 4, 2009

  • Could be a "t" as in "steely", where the "t" was accompanied by an ink-acid stain, woody inclusion or other flaw in the paper that the OCR tried its best to interpret. I found typos like this frequently in pages generated by an OCR that I proofread for the Gutenberg Project via Distributed Proofreaders. Check the context of "his" trade - work with metals or blades" - note the use of "cuts" and "bronzed" in the quote. Perhaps he worked in a foundry or as a smithy or a sword maker?

    September 4, 2009

  • Does anyone know what this means? It's from an ebook so could be an OCR error.

    September 4, 2009

  • '...she read the Richard that she knew and loved in these long fingers, stained by his skeely trade and scored with cuts commemorative of adventure and bronzed with golden weather...'

    - Rebecca West, The Judge

    September 4, 2009