Definition of skewer in US English:



  • A long piece of wood or metal used for holding pieces of food, typically meat, together during cooking.

    • ‘Pieces of lamb threaded on a skewer and grilled over hot charcoal is known around the world as shish kebab.’
    • ‘Brochette is a posh way of referring to lumps of meat stuck on a skewer.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you can use normal metal skewers.’
    • ‘You can check the cake is cooked by inserting a metal skewer into its centre, which should come out clean.’
    • ‘Meat skewers range from chicken yakitori to leg of lamb to beef tongue.’
    • ‘Thread the pieces of chicken in a zig-zag fashion on to the metal or bamboo skewers and set to one side.’
    • ‘Lili's lemon sole was accompanied by peeled prawns grilled kebab-style on skewers and a generous selection of boiled new potatoes.’
    • ‘Pierce the skin with a metal skewer and check that the juices contain no sign of blood.’
    • ‘Warm the barbecue up to medium heat and place the skewers on the grill.’
    • ‘Secure each piece with a wooden skewer and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.’
    • ‘When hot, place the paneer skewers on it and grill for three to four minutes, turning them regularly, until lightly charred all over.’
    • ‘Kebab is the common word for meat roasted in pieces or slices on a skewer or as meatballs on a grill.’
    • ‘Boneless cubes of lamb are marinated in spicy yogurt and arranged with vegetables on metal skewers.’
    • ‘Metal skewers should be used for kebabs as wood can catch light, another benefit of metal is that it aids cooking.’
    • ‘Grill skewers of cubed meat or poultry with colourful vegetables.’
    • ‘Peppers and tomatoes can be barbecued on the skewers between meat pieces.’
    • ‘The large skewer of marinated lamb pieces came with a mint and honey sauce combination which was described as ‘unusual but very good’ by an appreciative diner.’
    • ‘The most famous dish of Turkish origin is the shish kebab, pieces of lamb grilled on a skewer.’
    • ‘It melts well, and is sometimes grilled on skewers with pieces of vegetable.’
    • ‘In the middle of my dinner, some waiters emerged carrying a stick, on top of which many skewers of meat, seafood and vegetable balls had been inserted.’


[with object]
  • 1Fasten together or pierce with a pin or skewer.

    ‘skewer the cubes of beef, using six to eight per skewer’
    • ‘Eleanor watched him feed the fire and then skewer the fish and immediately set the over the fire.’
    • ‘Her spear had a longer reach, and he was skewered.’
    • ‘Many of the apples are being skewered onto sticks creating an even more dangerous hazard.’
    • ‘Each item was skewered on a cocktail stick and laid like sun rays around the plate, which also had a flower intricately carved out of turnip for decoration.’
    • ‘She passed him a stick on which bite-sized chunks of meat had been skewered.’
    • ‘Kris snorted quite audibly, then skewered the meat on a stick.’
    • ‘Local lore has it that the fish were once so plentiful that it was possible to skewer them with hay forks.’
    • ‘As she waited for the meat to prepare, she skewered a lump of pale golden paraphernalia roasting at the fire.’
    • ‘Wiley found a couple of long thin sticks to skewer the fish.’
    • ‘When we came from London to see how the renovations for the house were shaping up we found the builders skewering freshly marinated meat for a barbecue and a popping open a bottle of rosé.’
    pierce, puncture, make a hole in, put a hole in, stab, perforate, rupture, riddle, penetrate, nick, spear, slit, incise, knife, bore, spike, spit, stick, punch, pin, needle, jag, jab
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    1. 1.1informal Criticize (someone) sharply.
      • ‘Style may be all in these contests, but what alternative was the senator proposing to the decisions he criticized and the policies he skewered?’
      • ‘Ironic and sharp, Robinson is at her best when skewering with actual Calvinist history and ideas those most apt to dismiss and embody caricatured Calvinism.’
      • ‘Not only is American politics skewered and forked apart, but one songwriter's artistic evolution is laid out bare.’
      • ‘With its intricate cartoons and satirical send-ups, the monthly magazine gained a reputation for skewering politicians, advertisers, TV shows and a variety of print outlets.’
      • ‘In a commentary for Zmag he not only skewers the fanaticism and delusion of the right, but the failure of the supposedly liberal media.’
      • ‘It is an excellently conceived program targeted at skewering various forms of anti-intellectual pseudoscience, exposing money-hungry conmen and the ignorant beliefs they feed on.’
      • ‘The finesse with which he skewers the right wing morons of blogland is a joy to behold.’
      • ‘The rapid-fire skewering of individuals and riffing on different subjects doesn't lend itself to being ‘the kind of book you can't put down.’’
      • ‘The critics have skewered him, his wife is divorcing him, and the studio wants to fire him.’
      • ‘The game was absolutely skewered by the critics, although curiously it's hard to find exactly what was thought to be objectionable.’
      • ‘It certainly didn't deserve the critical skewering it received, nor should it have failed as miserably as it did, but it's hardly a film to get excited about.’
      • ‘Anyhow, in two and half years of blogging, I've been flamed and broiled and skewered and roasted a number of times.’
      • ‘Pop icon ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic made his reputation skewering popular music by means of witty parody lyrics set to the original musical arrangement.’
      • ‘If a novel was riddled with the flat-footed cliches that plague so many science books, the critics would skewer it.’
      • ‘Although his politics are more or less liberal, he skewers people across the political spectrum.’
      vilify, disparage, denigrate, defame, run down, impugn, revile, berate, belittle, abuse, insult, slight, attack, speak badly of, speak ill of, speak evil of, pour scorn on, criticize, censure, condemn, decry, denounce, pillory, lambaste
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Late Middle English: of unknown origin.