from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move rapidly along a surface, usually with frequent light contacts or changes of direction; skip or glide quickly.
  • intransitive verb To fish by drawing a lure or baited hook over the surface of the water with a skipping movement.
  • intransitive verb To cause to skitter.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of skittering, or gliding or skimming over with a light touch.
  • To skim; pass over lightly.
  • In angling, to draw a baited hook or a spoon-hook along the surface of water by means of a rod and line: as, to skitter for pickerel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To move or pass (something) over a surface quickly so that it touches only at intervals; to skip.
  • intransitive verb To pass or glide lightly or with quick touches at intervals; to skip; to skim.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive to move hurriedly or as by twitching or bouncing
  • verb intransitive to make a skittering noise
  • noun A skittering movement.

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

  • verb glide easily along a surface
  • verb twitch the hook of a fishing line through or along the surface of water
  • verb cause to skip over a surface
  • verb to move about or proceed hurriedly


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

[Probably frequentative of dialectal skite, to run rapidly, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skjōta, to shoot; see shoot.]



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • cf. skitters. whose wiktionary def is not, to my knowledge, the most >ahem< colloquial usage

    September 2, 2016