Definition of skew in English:

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Pronunciation: /skjuː/


1Neither parallel nor at right angles to a specified or implied line; askew; crooked: his hat looked slightly skew a skew angle
More example sentences
  • I hope that he does say something a little off skew and controversial on the show to spice things up.
2 Mathematics (Of a pair of lines) neither parallel nor intersecting.
2.1(Of a curve) not lying in a plane.
3 Statistics (Of a statistical distribution) not symmetrical.
Example sentences
  • The sample odds ratio is limited at the lower end, since it cannot be negative, but not at the upper end, and so has a skew distribution.
  • Empirical data, however, did not always detect a statistically significant skew toward rare alleles in the allele frequency distribution.


1An oblique angle; a slant.
Example sentences
  • The most important effect of the skew in angle is the raised plateau of entrance court created in the eastern corner.
2A bias towards one particular group or subject: the paper had a working-class skew
More example sentences
  • In recent years we have seen more of a skew towards the High Arts and the Arts that people from more affluent suburbs tend to enjoy.
  • The female skew was most evident during Saturday's opening ceremony rebroadcast, which attracted almost three-quarters of the female audience and 66 per cent of men.
  • So a definite skew to the higher income households.
3 [mass noun] Statistics The state of not being symmetrical.
Example sentences
  • We see in the subsequent section that this fairly small skew from equal frequencies nonetheless yields a substantive potential for ‘nonstandard’ dynamical behavior.
  • If there is no sex-ratio skew among nestlings, data regarding survival of hybrid males and females would be needed to explain the pattern noted by Bronson et al.
  • Although the variable of educational level was normally distributed in the sample, the variable of annual income showed a sharp positive skew.


1 [no object, with adverbial] Suddenly change direction or position: the car had skewed across the track
More example sentences
  • Pryce did well to block his shot with his legs, but the ball skewed sideways for Mercer to crash it into the empty net.
1.1Twist or turn or cause to do this: he skewed around in his saddle [with object]: his leg was skewed in and pushed against the other one
2 [with object] Make biased or distorted in a way that is regarded as inaccurate, unfair, or misleading: the curriculum is skewed towards the practical subjects
More example sentences
  • You can count on us to find the answer, and to convey that information in an insulting, unfair and skewed manner.
  • The Times is not alone for demonstrating again a ‘news judgment’ hopelessly skewed by liberal bias.
  • No-one is suggesting that all science funded by company money is skewed or biased or lacking independence.
3 [with object] Statistics Cause (a distribution) to be asymmetrical: the distributions were skewed to the right
More example sentences
  • Additional segregating alleles are not helpful if their frequency distribution is highly skewed.
  • The distributions are skewed, so the medians are better estimates of central tendency than the means are.
  • The overall phenotype frequency distribution was positively skewed.


on the skew

Neither parallel nor at right angles to a specified or implied line; askew: the whole frame is on the skew
More example sentences
  • The fulcrum point on the skew is always the lower corner of the tool.



Example sentences
  • The resulting sample appears highly representative and shows little skewness.
  • By taking variability skewness and curtosis values into account the non-parametric and parametric test options were evaluated.
  • The total alliance scores for men and women appeared to be in a fairly normal distribution, as estimates of skewness and tests of kurtosis failed to reach .8 and.1, respectively.


Late Middle English (as a verb in the sense 'move obliquely'): shortening of Old Northern French eskiuwer, variant of Old French eschiver 'eschew'. The adjective and noun (early 17th century) are from the verb.

Words that rhyme with skew

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

For editors and proofreaders

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