any of various types of boats small enough for sailing or rowing by one person.

1565–75; < early Italian schifo < Old High German scif ship

skiffless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
skiff (skɪf)
any of various small boats propelled by oars, sail, or motor
[C18: from French esquif, from Old Italian schifo a boat, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German schifship]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"small boat," 1575, from Fr. esquif (1549), from It. schifo "little boat," from a Gmc. source (e.g. O.H.G. scif "boat;" see ship (n.)). Originally the small boat of a ship.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Your boat taxi will ferry you and your gear to shore in a small open skiff.
Commercial sardine fishing vessel getting ready to launch skiff with the net.
Over the years, he made some subtle but important changes to the skiff's design
  to meet the changing needs of lifeguards.
The skiff is brought around so that the seine makes a half circle with the
  skiff on one end and the vessel on the other end.
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