Main definitions of skiff in English

: skiff1skiff2

skiff1

noun

  • A light rowing boat or sculling boat, typically for one person.

    • ‘They are also used as primary power for canoes, jon boats and small skiffs.’
    • ‘Using fast moving skiffs, the Coast Guard would quickly intercept the protesters to keep them from interfering with the off-loading operation.’
    • ‘These small craft are called skiffs, and are collapsible.’
    • ‘We used the skiff to slip into a narrow gap in the reef.’
    • ‘They also built European-style luggers and skiffs, and the pirogue, based on Indian dugout canoes.’
    • ‘Instead of days and nights on the river in a cool rickety skiff, we get half an hour in a common rowboat.’
    • ‘Tugs and skiffs sprawl, black on the multicoloured Thames.’
    • ‘Sitting on the stern of the skiff I swung my legs into the boat then made myself comfortable in one of the padded seats.’
    • ‘His boat is a small skiff with a 25 hp engine, which seriously limits how many people he can take out.’
    • ‘Still, next time I'll pilot a Thames skiff instead of driving a car!’
    • ‘It was a great day out and we hope to have raised thousands to keep the skiffs up and running.’
    • ‘Charles hurriedly had his friends assist him in launching his rowing skiff and went after the dolphins.’
    • ‘A heavy skiff is launched off the seiner's stern to anchor its enormous net.’
    • ‘We head offshore, speeding across deeper water, but another skiff off our starboard bow seems to have the same idea.’
    • ‘Far more satisfying, however, was picking off the slower vessels that had started before us: the lumbering dories, skiffs, and wherries.’
    • ‘The ships held five long skiffs that were used for landings.’
    • ‘My first job was handline fishing for mackerel off Kilkeel in a skiff I owned with my brother.’
    • ‘The sleek Graght skiff had no trouble matching them move for move.’
    • ‘There was an octagonal fountain so large you could row about it in a skiff.’
    • ‘The next day we were to leave on an open skiff down the Paraguay River for New Germany.’
    • ‘It is certainly very enjoyable, a music-hall-style adaptation of the tale of three chaps in flannels traversing the Thames in a skiff.’
    • ‘There are 160 German naval personnel in Mombasa monitoring the Horn of Africa, presumably for al-Qaeda skiffs and pirate ships.’
    • ‘The next morning we motored out into the swamp in a tiny aluminum skiff.’
    • ‘Today the sailboats and skiffs are lost to history, along with the working vessels that carried goods to docks long gone.’
    • ‘The official opening of the new facility at Gill Pier was followed by an inaugural race for local skiffs.’
    • ‘It is run by some very experienced guides with a large fleet of brand-new skiffs.’
    • ‘The others were opening forward and rear compartments on their skiffs, removing tents, supplies and gear.’
    • ‘We shan't go another voyage on this measly skiff, Captain Gennady orated.’
    • ‘To complete my journey, first to Naa, then to Tebua, I travel with Nakibae Teuatabo's son Kabiea, who sits in the stern of our skiff.’
    • ‘A couple of skiffs are running local dives so I haven't missed the chance to dive, only the chance to see Namena.’
    • ‘The 49er class of 4.9m-long skiffs was first introduced as an Olympic event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.’
    • ‘The other local fishermen go out and look at Santiago's skiff and measure the length of the marlin's skeleton.’
    • ‘On a moonlit June night, members of Doc's team sit on three skiffs in the lagoon's North Sound, waiting to trap the young sharks in nets.’
    • ‘Travel is, as described by Bruce, by ‘very, very small plane or skiff.’’
    • ‘A punt is a small, flat-bottomed skiff that is steered with a long, gondolier-style pole that grapples the muddy river bottom with the hook at its end.’
    • ‘He is moderately stern, but amused when Billy stands in the skiff and waves good-bye to his merchant sailor friends.’
    • ‘Breakfast over, I grabbed my kit while Joel grabbed the ice chest; it was just a short walk to the skiff with its fifty horse power motor.’
    • ‘The skiffs were crewed by teams from pubs and clubs in the area.’
    • ‘They did not qualify, however, because the Scouts' canoes were not the sculling skiffs required by the rules.’
    • ‘We used our VHF radio and phoned ahead, then caught up with the Royal Polaris skiff near 11 a.m.’

Origin

Late 15th century: from French esquif, from Italian schifo, of Germanic origin; related to ship.

Pronunciation

skiff

/skɪf/

Main definitions of skiff in English

: skiff1skiff2

skiff2

noun

Scottish, North American
  • A flurry or light covering of snow.

    ‘a fresh skiff of snow lay on the ground’
    • ‘It was bitterly cold, with a thin skiff of snow holding down the dirt and dust of the streets.’
    • ‘We were walking the land in late February, a skiff of snow still on the ground.’
    • ‘The biting winds, freezing rain, and skiffs of snow felt like a judgment by God for some unfathomable sin.’
    • ‘A skiff of autumn leaves blew out of the trees across the street.’
    • ‘There were passages of thin ice and skiffs of snow over black ice, and he had to be constantly on his guard.’

Origin

Early 18th century (as verb meaning ‘to move lightly and quickly’): perhaps an alteration of earlier skift, or from scuff.

Pronunciation

skiff

/skɪf/