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skitter (third-person singular simple present skitters, present participle skittering, simple past and past participle skittered)

  1. (intransitive) To move hurriedly or as by twitching or bouncing.
    I opened the cabinet and hundreds of cockroaches went skittering off into the darkness.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman
      Some kinds of ducks in lighting strike the water with their tails first, and skitter along the surface for a few feet before settling down.
  2. (intransitive) To make a skittering noise.
    • 2017 January 20, Annie Zaleski, “AFI sounds refreshed and rejuvenated on its 10th album, AFI (The Blood Album)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Both “Dark Snow” and “Aurelia” feature subtle washes of brittle piano à la Decemberunderground, while “She Speaks The Language” boasts a skittering electronic underbelly, and eerie synths are suspended like low clouds in “Above The Bridge.”
  3. (transitive) To move or pass (something) over a surface quickly so that it touches only at intervals; to skip.
    • James A. Henshall
      The angler, standing in the bow, 'skitters' or skips the spoon over the surface.
  4. (transitive, Northern England) To cause to have diarrhea.
    • 1970, James Herriot, If Only They Could Talk
      You'll skitter the poor buggers to death [farmer protesting to vet about to dose calves with Epsom salts]
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skitter (plural skitters)

  1. A skittering movement.
    A skitter of activity.
    A skitter of gooseflesh.
  2. (Scotland, Northern England, uncountable) diarrhea

See also[edit]