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Skittish definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

1. Shy; easily frightened; shunning familiarity; timorous; as a restif skittish jade. L'Estrange.
2. Wanton; volatile; hasty.
3. Changeable; fickle; as skittish fortune.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: unpredictably excitable (especially of horses) [syn: skittish, flighty, spooky, nervous]

Merriam Webster's

adjective Etymology: Middle English, from skit- (probably from Old Norse skyt-) + -ish Date: 15th century 1. a. lively or frisky in action ; capricious b. variable, fluctuating 2. easily frightened ; restive <a skittish horse> 3. a. coy, bashful b. marked by extreme caution ; wary <skittish investors> skittishly adverb skittishness noun

Oxford Reference Dictionary

adj. 1 lively, playful. 2 (of a horse etc.) nervous, inclined to shy, fidgety. Derivatives: skittishly adv. skittishness n. Etymology: ME, perh. formed as SKIT(1)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Skittish Skit"tish, a. [See Skit, v. t.] 1. Easily frightened; timorous; shy; untrustworthy; as, a skittish colt. ``A restiff, skittish jade.'' --L'Estrange. 2. Wanton; restive; freakish; volatile; changeable; fickle. ``Skittish Fortune's hall.'' --Shak. -- Skit"tish*ly, adv. -- Skit"tish*ness, n.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

1. If you describe a person or animal as skittish, you mean they are easily made frightened or excited. The declining dollar gave heart to skittish investors. = nervous ADJ 2. Someone who is skittish does not concentrate on anything or take life very seriously. ...his relentlessly skittish sense of humour. ADJ

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

a. 1. Shy (as a horse), timid, timorous, easily frightened. 2. Hasty, volatile, wanton. 3. Changeable, inconstant, fickle.

Moby Thesaurus

agitable, allergic, anaphylactic, animated, antic, bashful, capersome, changeable, coltish, combustible, confused, conscious, coquettish, cowardly, coy, delicate, demure, diffident, dizzy, edgy, emotional, emotionally unstable, empathetic, empathic, empty-headed, eruptive, excitable, explosive, exuberant, faddish, fearful, fearing, fearsome, fickle, flighty, flirtatious, frisky, frivolous, frolicsome, full of beans, gamesome, gay, giddy, goosy, harebrained, hearty, high-mettled, high-spirited, high-strung, highly emotional, hyperesthetic, hyperpathic, hypersensitive, in fear, inarticulate, inconstant, inflammable, irascible, irresponsible, irritable, itchy, jumpy, light, light-headed, lively, mercurial, mettlesome, mousy, nervous, overrefined, oversensible, oversensitive, overtender, passible, perturbable, playful, prickly, quicksilver, rabbity, rattlebrained, refined, responsive, restive, rollicking, rollicksome, rompish, scary, scatterbrained, self-conscious, sensitive, shaky, shamefaced, shamefast, shivery, shrinking, shy, skittery, spirited, sportive, sprightly, stammering, startlish, supersensitive, sympathetic, tactful, tender, tetchy, thin-skinned, ticklish, timid, timorous, touchy, toying, trembling, tremulous, trepidant, trigger-happy, undependable, unpredictable, unreliable, vacillating, versatile, vital, vivacious, volatile, volcanic, zestful, zippy

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