v. skit·tered, skit·ter·ing, skit·ters
1. To move rapidly along a surface, usually with frequent light contacts or changes of direction; skip or glide quickly: lizards that skitter away when approached.
2. To fish by drawing a lure or baited hook over the surface of the water with a skipping movement.
To cause to skitter.
[Probably frequentative of dialectal skite, to run rapidly, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skjōta, to shoot; see SHOOT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.