Definition of skiff in English:



  • A shallow, flat-bottomed open boat with sharp bow and square stern.

    • ‘They are also used as primary power for canoes, jon boats and small skiffs.’
    • ‘Instead of days and nights on the river in a cool rickety skiff, we get half an hour in a common rowboat.’
    • ‘A heavy skiff is launched off the seiner's stern to anchor its enormous net.’
    • ‘The next morning we motored out into the swamp in a tiny aluminum skiff.’
    • ‘Using fast moving skiffs, the Coast Guard would quickly intercept the protesters to keep them from interfering with the off-loading operation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These small craft are called skiffs, and are collapsible.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The next day we were to leave on an open skiff down the Paraguay River for New Germany.’
    • ‘We used our VHF radio and phoned ahead, then caught up with the Royal Polaris skiff near 11 a.m.’
    • ‘The sleek Graght skiff had no trouble matching them move for move.’
    • ‘We shan't go another voyage on this measly skiff, Captain Gennady orated.’
    • ‘Travel is, as described by Bruce, by ‘very, very small plane or skiff.’’
    • ‘Far more satisfying, however, was picking off the slower vessels that had started before us: the lumbering dories, skiffs, and wherries.’
    • ‘Sitting on the stern of the skiff I swung my legs into the boat then made myself comfortable in one of the padded seats.’
    • ‘The other local fishermen go out and look at Santiago's skiff and measure the length of the marlin's skeleton.’
    • ‘He is moderately stern, but amused when Billy stands in the skiff and waves good-bye to his merchant sailor friends.’
    • ‘The others were opening forward and rear compartments on their skiffs, removing tents, supplies and gear.’
    • ‘We head offshore, speeding across deeper water, but another skiff off our starboard bow seems to have the same idea.’
    • ‘They also built European-style luggers and skiffs, and the pirogue, based on Indian dugout canoes.’


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