Definition of skittish in English:



  • 1(of an animal, especially of a horse) excitable or easily scared.

    ‘a skittish chestnut mare’
    figurative ‘skittish investors withdrew their money from equity markets’
    • ‘On a blazing day like Thursday they were positively skittish.’
    • ‘I think they're generally skittish and ill-tempered animals.’
    • ‘You haven't drunk in a month - no wonder you're skittish.’
    • ‘Mottled ducks at least remain skittish around people and present some challenge.’
    • ‘If they are skittish they should arrange a visit with their family doctor or paediatrician.’
    • ‘He was too skittish, so I made my voice carefully neutral.’
    • ‘Her hair was combed, she was clean, she wasn't skittish.’
    • ‘Is that why she was so skittish and nervous around me?’
    • ‘And the closer the convention came, the more skittish residents grew.’
    • ‘He was very skittish, and had been used as a news horse, since he couldn't be used for actual battle.’
    • ‘‘I'm Tohru, It's nice to meet you,’ she said, seeing that the boy was as skittish as a cat.’
    • ‘If you're that skittish about investing, you're probably better off in a high-interest savings account anyway.’
    • ‘Alison usually wasn't so skittish, but people around her didn't often fall prey to killers bent on revenge.’
    • ‘The little lizards are everywhere, but they are skittish and can be difficult to approach.’
    • ‘Only the rays were skittish, darting off as soon as we drew near.’
    • ‘She was positively skittish with the silver-haired charmer.’
    • ‘They can also make skittish neighbors more accepting of special-needs housing.’
    • ‘At least one local merchant is skittish of the ladies.’
    • ‘They are skittish and fearful of most people and talk to no one but each other.’
    • ‘I was skittish, the smallest sound or touch freaked me out.’
    restive, excitable, nervous, easily frightened
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    1. 1.1(of a person) playfully frivolous or unpredictable.
      ‘my skittish and immature mother’
      • ‘He was skittish, trying to please all his guests; yet his had a powerful presence, he had a definite leader quality… charisma.’
      • ‘Ganatra brings a quiet, sensual intensity to her role in Chutney Popcorn, perfectly complementing Hennessy's skittish character.’
      • ‘He has cast four relatively inexperienced actors who fatten up Reza's skinny and, at times, skittish characters.’
      • ‘I think they're more skittish readers, where I found girls in general would be willing to try a lot of different things.’
      • ‘The notion seems to be that the mere look, the urbanity, the smirking of blue staters appalls the skittish people of the heartland.’
      • ‘We managed to pat them a little bit, but they were pretty skittish.’
      playful, lively, high-spirited, frisky, coltish
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Late Middle English: perhaps from the rare verb skit move lightly and rapidly.