An example of a skew arch

From Middle English skewen, from Old Northern French escuer, eskiuer, variants of Old French eschuer, eschiver, eschever, from Frankish *skiuhan (to dread; avoid; shun), from Proto-Germanic *skiuhijaną (to frighten). Compare Saterland Frisian skeeuw (slanting, oblique), Danish skæv (skew, slanting, crooked), Norwegian skeiv. More at shy and eschew.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /skjuː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uː


skew (not comparable)

  1. (mathematics, usually of two lines) Neither intersecting nor parallel.
  2. Neither parallel nor at right angles to a certain line.
    a skew arch

Derived termsEdit



skew (third-person singular simple present skews, present participle skewing, simple past and past participle skewed)

  1. (transitive) To bias or distort in a particular direction.
    A disproportionate number of female subjects in the study group skewed the results.
  2. (transitive) To shape or form in an oblique way; to cause to take an oblique position.
  3. (transitive) To throw or hurl obliquely.
  4. (intransitive) To walk obliquely; to go sidling; to lie or move obliquely.
    • L'Estrange
      Child, you must walk straight, without skewing.
  5. (intransitive) To start aside; to shy, as a horse.
  6. (intransitive) To look obliquely; to squint; hence, to look slightingly or suspiciously.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


skew (countable and uncountable, plural skews)

  1. A bias or distortion in a particular direction.
    • 1989, Ivan Andonovic, ‎Deepak Uttamchandani, Principles of Modern Optical Systems (volume 1, page 501)
      One application for which an optical filter can play an important role is that of a wideband connection with low time skew.
  2. (architecture) A stone at the foot of the slope of a gable, the offset of a buttress, etc., cut with a sloping surface and with a check to receive the coping stones and retain them in place.
  3. (electronics) A phenomenon in synchronous digital circuit systems (such as computers) in which the same sourced clock signal arrives at different components at different times.


skew (comparative more skew, superlative most skew)

  1. Awry; obliquely; askew.


Middle EnglishEdit


Etymology 1Edit

From an earlier form of Old Norse ský, from Proto-Germanic *skiwją; Doublet of sky.

Alternative formsEdit


skew (plural skewes)

  1. sky, air
  2. (rare) cloud

Etymology 2Edit

From Old French escu, from Latin scūtum.

Alternative formsEdit


skew (plural skewes)

  1. A segment of carved stone to cover a gable with.