Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.


1. Moving quickly and lightly; lively.
2. Restlessly active or nervous; restive.
3. Undependably variable; mercurial or fickle.
4. Shy; bashful.

[Middle English, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skjōta, to shoot; see shoot.]

skit′tish·ly adv.
skit′tish·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.skittishness - characterized by nervousness and quickness to take fright
nervousness - a sensitive or highly strung temperament


n (= playfulness)Übermütigkeit f, → Übermut m; (= flirtatiousness: of woman) → Neckereien pl; (= nervousness: of horse) → Unruhe f
References in classic literature ?
He had made a few remarks on the skittishness of young ponies, and on the weather, and that was all until they reached the station, a pretty building standing in the open country, with a view of the river from the platform.
One night, some days after her arrival, she developed a skittishness of manner which has since disappeared, and tried to be playful with him; but you might as well try to be playful with a graven image.
The pound seems to be a victim of some skittishness ahead of the major central bank meetings this week in Japan and the US," Neil Wilson, a markets analyst at ETX Capital, said.
A more substantial concern, at least for the Republicans, was certain corporations' skittishness about having their brands associated with any event where Donald J.
Most of those statewide offices in Texas aren't on the ballot this year, and in spite of the elected class's general skittishness about the national ticket, it's hard to imagine Trump's 2016 campaign having much effect on their future chances (although a Trump Administration certainly could).
Oil prices fell for a fourth straight day, swept lower by investor skittishness over Brexit.
The truth is, no one knows, and/or there is no single explanation for this skittishness.
When I look back on my teenage years, it is the nonsense, the skittishness and the freedom that I treasure.
When the country began emerging from its worst economic slump since the Great Depression 18 months later, many millennials approached their entry into the adult world with a heavy dose of caution, wary of making commitments they might not be able to afford, such as getting married, having children and buying a home - a skittishness that also extended to having and using credit cards.
Skittishness has pushed them away from credit cards towards debit and prepaid cards.
But whatever its tonal skittishness, it's the actor's best-yet performance.
Although Azerbaijan has its reasons to suspect both countries, it has given no hint of skittishness about the deal so far.