Share this entry

skittle Syllabification: skit·tle
Pronunciation: /ˈskidl/

Definition of skittle in English:


1 (skittles) [treated as singular] A game played, chiefly in Britain, with wooden pins, typically nine in number, set up at the end of an alley to be bowled down with a wooden ball or disk.
Example sentences
  • Then on Wednesday at 9.30PM the name of the game is adult skittles and week ends as per usual with Whist on Thursday at 9pm.
  • The skittles set (the English equivalent to 10-pin bowling) comprised six plastic bowling pins and two plastic balls.
  • Alex was a real livewire and had loads of energy and many a happy time we had playing football and skittles.
2A pin used in the game of skittles.
Example sentences
  • This float looks like a miniature skittle seen in a bowling lane.
  • The ball hit him square in the forehead and he fell like a skittle.
  • The table featured a croquet-like hoop at one end called the ‘Port’ and an upright skittle at the other called the ‘King’.


Mid 17th century: of unknown origin. The word skyttel exists in Danish and Swedish in the sense 'shuttle, child's marble', but there is no evidence to connect this with the game of skittles.

Words that rhyme with skittle

acquittal, belittle, brittle, committal, embrittle, it'll, kittle, little, remittal, spittle, tittle, victual, whittle

Definition of skittle in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkɒnfɪdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...