Definition of skitter in English:



  • 1Move lightly and quickly or hurriedly.

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


Mid 19th century: apparently a frequentative of skite move rapidly perhaps of Norse origin.