- The definition of a skiff is a small boat with a flat bottom and pointed front used in shallow water.
An example of a skiff is a boat someone would take out for a relaxing fishing trip on a river.
Origin of skiffMiddle French esquif ; from Italian schifo ; from Langobardic an unverified form skif, akin to ship
Origin of skiffMiddle English skif, from Old French esquif, from Old Italian schifo, of Germanic origin.
- A small flat-bottomed open boat with a pointed bow and square stern.
- Any of various types of boats small enough for sailing or rowing by one person.
- (weather) A light wind/rain/snow, etc.
- A skiff of rain blew into the shed and the two men moved their chairs back.
- (slang) Used when referring to anyone (typically rednecks and fishermen) who has a degree of intelligence, but believes they are more than they actually are.
(third-person singular simple present skiffs, present participle skiffing, simple past and past participle skiffed)
- to navigate in a skiff.
From Middle French esquif, from Old Italian schifo (“small boat"), from Lombardic *skif (“boat"), from Proto-Germanic *skipÄ… (“boat, ship"), from Proto-Indo-European *skei- (“to split, cut"). Cognate with Old High German skif (“boat, ship"), Old English scip (“small craft, boat"). More at ship.
Borrowing from Scottish Gaelic sguabag.