from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To take an oblique course or direction.
  • intransitive v. To look obliquely or sideways.
  • transitive v. To turn or place at an angle.
  • transitive v. To give a bias to; distort.
  • adj. Placed or turned to one side; asymmetrical.
  • adj. Distorted or biased in meaning or effect.
  • adj. Having a part that diverges, as in gearing.
  • adj. Mathematics Neither parallel nor intersecting. Used of straight lines in space.
  • adj. Statistics Not symmetrical about the mean. Used of distributions.
  • n. An oblique or slanting movement, position, or direction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Neither perpendicular nor parallel (usually said of two lines).
  • v. To change or alter in a particular direction.
  • v. To shape or form in an oblique way; to cause to take an oblique position.
  • v. To throw or hurl obliquely.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Turned or twisted to one side; situated obliquely; skewed; -- chiefly used in technical phrases.
  • adv. Awry; obliquely; askew.
  • n. A stone at the foot of the slope of a gable, the offset of a buttress, or the like, cut with a sloping surface and with a check to receive the coping stones and retain them in place.
  • intransitive v. To walk obliquely; to go sidling; to lie or move obliquely.
  • intransitive v. To start aside; to shy, as a horse.
  • intransitive v. To look obliquely; to squint; hence, to look slightingly or suspiciously.
  • transitive v. To shape or form in an oblique way; to cause to take an oblique position.
  • transitive v. To throw or hurl obliquely.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To turn aside; slip or fall away; escape.
  • To start aside; swerve; shy, as a horse.
  • To move or go obliquely; sidle.
  • To look obliquely; squint; hence, to look slightingly or suspiciously.
  • To turn aside; give an oblique direction to; hence, to distort; put askew.
  • To shape or form in an oblique way.
  • To throw or hurl obliquely.
  • To throw violently. Compare shy.
  • Having an oblique position; oblique; turned or twisted to one side: as, a skew bridge.
  • Distorted; perverted; perverse.
  • In mathematics, having disturbed symmetry by certain elements being reversed on opposite sides; also, more widely, distorted.
  • A casting on the end of a truss to which a tensionrod may be attached. It may form a cap, or be shaped to fit the impost.
  • A carvers' chisel having the shank bent to allow the edge to reach a sunken surface.
  • Aslant; aslope; obliquely; awry; askew.
  • n. A deviation or distortion; hence, an error; a mistake.
  • n. An oblique glance; a squint.
  • n. A piebald or skew-bald animal, especially a horse.
  • n. A skew wheel.
  • n. 5. In architecture, thn sloping top of a buttress where it slants off against a wall; a coping mounting on a slant, as that of a gable; a stone built into the base-angle of a gable, or other similar situation, to support a coping above. Compare skew-corbel, below.
  • n. An obsolete variant of sky.
  • n. Same as scow.
  • n. A cup.
  • n. In mathematics, a regulus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having an oblique or slanting direction or position
  • v. turn or place at an angle


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English skewen, to escape, run sideways, from Old North French eskiuer, of Germanic origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French escuer, eskiuer, northern variants of eschuer, eschiver, eschever.


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  • See also skewbald for the etymological notes regarding skew- in that compound.

    March 19, 2016