One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Move lightly and quickly or hurriedly.‘the girls skittered up the stairs’figurative ‘her mind skittered back to that day at the office’
dash, dart, run, sprint, race, rush, hurry, hasten, hare, hurtle, bolt, shoot, charge, career, speed, fly, whizz, zoomView synonyms
- ‘And then a thought skittered across Savitri's mind like a stone across water: What if you weren't here?’
- ‘A rock skittered lightly to his left as he stepped into the sanctuary.’
- ‘The thing by the stairs skittered in a tight circle, turning its buried face towards him.’
- ‘He held completely still, afraid to move and send the apparition skittering back into the depths of his sleep-riddled mind.’
- ‘He didn't seem to mind much and as he leaned in close to the girl I skittered out deciding he was further preoccupied.’
- ‘His thoughts had no pattern to them; they skittered brokenly through his mind.’
- ‘Her eyes widened further, and she backed, more quickly than before, skittering quickly against the walls and door.’
- ‘Doris Humphrey, wearing a red dress, skips and skitters with a windblown lightness.’
- ‘A few thoughts about Arthur skittered through her mind for a moment.’
- ‘Twenty girls skitter through chassées, cross-ball-changes and multiple jazz pirouettes.’
- ‘She nodded quickly and skittered over to her seat.’
- ‘When we stepped away from the tunnel's hatch, a tide of beetles skittered over the stones, away from our feet.’
- ‘The llamas skittered impatiently and moved forward and I saw it was for real.’
- ‘He cradled her head to him, trying to understand why he felt tears skittering down his cheeks.’
- ‘I was about to protest, but Alex quickly skittered off to the bathroom, leaving me stupidly holding the silver phone in my hand.’
- ‘It feels like there are spiders inside my mind, skittering and tapping me dreadfully with hundreds of nasty little feet.’
- ‘Thoughts of saying hello skittered briefly across my mind, but disappeared almost immediately.’
- ‘In a movie, this would be dealt with montage style, with trains hurtling down a track and planes skittering down the runway.’
- ‘Versa yelled in a hurry, skittering to her first class.’
- ‘His cameras zoom around a fictional CGI Paris like bugs skitter over puddles.’
2with object Draw (bait) jerkily across the surface of the water as a technique in fishing.
Mid 19th century: apparently a frequentative of skite.
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