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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch scipper, from scip. Compare German Schiff, Schipp, Old Norse skip; confer ship, skiff.


skipper (plural skippers)

  1. (nautical) The master of a ship (literally, 'shipper').
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 10, The Celebrity:
      The skipper Mr. Cooke had hired at Far Harbor was a God-fearing man with a luke warm interest in his new billet and employer, and had only been prevailed upon to take charge of the yacht after the offer of an emolument equal to half a year's sea pay of an ensign in the navy.
  2. A coach, director, or other leader.
  3. (sports) The captain of a sports team such as football, cricket, rugby or curling.
    • 2010 December 29, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0-1 Wolverhampton”, BBC:
      But even the return of skipper Steven Gerrard from a six-week injury layoff could not inspire Liverpool


skipper (third-person singular simple present skippers, present participle skippering, simple past and past participle skippered)

  1. (transitive) To be the skipper of a ship

Etymology 2[edit]

See to skip.


skipper (plural skippers)

  1. Agent noun of skip: one who skips.
  2. A person who skips, or fails to attend class.
  3. Any of various butterflies of the families Hesperiidae and its subfamily Megathyminae, having a hairy mothlike body, hooked tips on the antennae, and a darting flight pattern.
  4. Any of several marine fishes that often leap above water, especially Cololabis saira, the Pacific saury.
  5. (obsolete) A young, thoughtless person.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  6. The cheese maggot, the larva of a cheese fly, in Piophilidae, which leap to escape predators.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.





skipper m (invariable)

  1. (nautical) skipper (person in charge of a vessel)