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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to move hurriedly or as by twitching or bouncing
  • v. to make a skittering noise
  • n. A skittering movement.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. The act of skittering, or gliding or skimming over with a light touch.

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

  • v. glide easily along a surface
  • v. twitch the hook of a fishing line through or along the surface of water
  • v. cause to skip over a surface
  • v. 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.



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

    September 2, 2016