Definition of skipjack in US English:



  • 1A small tuna with dark horizontal stripes, widely distributed throughout tropical and temperate seas.

    Katsuwonus or 'Euthynnus' pelamis, family Scombridae

    Also called bonito or ocean bonito
    • ‘This outfit is also ideal for school bonito, skipjack, average sized dorado, roosterfish and needlefish.’
    • ‘Furthermore, there is evidence for spontaneous thrombus formation in skipjack and yellowfin tunas, as well as in milkfish.’
    • ‘Similarly, drying skipjack (a small Pacific fish in the tuna family) or shiitake mushrooms substantially increases their existing umami levels.’
    • ‘We boxed several Spanish mackerel and speckled trout, plus sheepshead, skipjacks, whiting, sand trout and one small flounder.’
    • ‘Back in the Edo period there was a fashion for eating the first skipjack of the season.’
    • ‘However, most of the tuna consumed in the UK has brown flesh and tends to be the skipjack or yellowfin varieties.’
    • ‘There, the commercial fishermen patiently wait every year for the annual migrations of albacore, skipjack, yellowfin, big-eye and bluefin.’
    • ‘However, I should have been able to catch fish on a fly, because we caught many little skipjack on small white lures, trolled.’
    • ‘Larger fish life includes moray eels, skipjacks, lobster, napoleons, barracuda, turtles, tuna and sharks, especially the grey reef variety.’
    • ‘About 80 percent of exports consist of frozen, dried, and salted skipjack tuna; canned fish; dried shark fins; and fish meal.’
    • ‘Coloration is generally similar to that of the skipjack herring, Alosa chrysochloris.’
    • ‘It says bigeye tuna is slow-growing and more vulnerable to exploitation than skipjack and yellowfin tuna.’
    • ‘They also caught a couple of large kingfish and many skipjack.’
    • ‘Skipjack is said to be very healthy and robust, and skipjack tuna is targeted mainly by the long line and the purse seine fishery.’
    • ‘Also, canned tuna is often composed of smaller species of tuna, such as albacore and skipjack, both of which have lower levels of mercury.’
    • ‘Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish, skipjacks and - yes - speckled trout are among the flashy vanguards of summer.’
  • 2

    another term for click beetle
  • 3A sloop-rigged sailboat with vertical sides and a flat V-shaped bottom, used chiefly on the east coast of the US.

    • ‘Their motor-less sailing boats are called skipjacks, and are allowed to fish for oysters freely.’
    • ‘Covered in black coral trees and full of marine life like skipjack and lionfish, the ship is another easy wreck.’
    • ‘The backyard slopes down to a cold blue finger of Puget Sound, where Miller keeps his favorite toys - a skipjack, two kayaks, and a 47-foot yacht.’
    • ‘Cruise open water on an authentic skipjack, and explore tidal inlets by canoe or kayak.’
    • ‘In the winter, many of the local watermen use hydraulic tongs to catch oysters, and a few skipjack boats continue to work out of Wenona harbor.’


Early 18th century: from the verb skip + jack. skipjack (sense 1) is from the fish's habit of jumping out of the water; skipjack (sense 2, arose in the 19th century.