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[ski-dad-l] /skɪˈdæd l/ Informal.
verb (used without object), skedaddled, skedaddling.
to run away hurriedly; flee.
a hasty flight.
Origin of skedaddle
1860-65, Americanism; compare dial. (Scots, N England) skedaddle to spill, scatter, skiddle to move away quickly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for skedaddle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For the formation we may compare American vamose, to skedaddle, from Span.

  • They skedaddle like lightning if they see so much as Rachel's shadow.

  • Everything was in confusion, and all was helter-skelter, skurry, and skedaddle.

  • The fight lasted about three hours, when the rebs were obliged to skedaddle.

    An Artilleryman's Diary Jenkin Lloyd Jones
  • The defence was too strong, and our force too small; we had to skedaddle, or we'd have seen Libby in a way we didn't like.

    The Militants Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews
  • Now skedaddle into your own rooms, but don't you dare to sit down for a moment.

  • Billy Sunday made the devil tuck his tail between his legs and skedaddle Friday night.

    News Writing M. Lyle Spencer
  • Grandpa had flapped his hands at the children and said, "skedaddle, young-ones!"

    Across the Fruited Plain Florence Crannell Means
  • In the skedaddle and panic that occurred later in the day, Joe, with many others, was taken prisoner by the Johnnies.

    Drum Taps in Dixie Delavan S. Miller
British Dictionary definitions for skedaddle


(intransitive) to run off hastily
a hasty retreat
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for skedaddle

"to run away," 1861, American Civil War military slang, of unknown origin, perhaps connected to earlier use in northern England dialect with a meaning "to spill." Liberman says it "has no connection with any word of Greek, Irish, or Swedish, and it is not a blend" [contra De Vere]. He calls it instead an "enlargement of dial. scaddle 'scare, frighten.'" Related: Skedaddled; skedaddling. As a noun from 1870.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for skedaddle



An inferior horse: They'd kill that bunch of skates for their hides (1894+)


  1. To default a debt; avoid paying (1930s+ Black)
  2. To leave; split (1915+)
  3. To evade duty; goldbrick, goof off: The gunny accuses you of trying to skate (WWII armed forces)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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