noun Chiefly British.
skittles, (used with a singular verb) ninepins in which a wooden ball or disk is used to knock down the pins.
one of the pins used in this game.

1625–35; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse skutill shuttle, arrow; Danish skyttel shuttle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
skittle (ˈskɪtəl)
1.  a wooden or plastic pin, typically widest just above the base
2.  (plural; functioning as singular) Also called (esp US): ninepins a bowling game in which players knock over as many skittles as possible by rolling a wooden ball at them
3.  informal (often used with a negative) beer and skittles an easy time; amusement
[C17: of obscure origin; perhaps related to Swedish, Danish skyttel shuttle]

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

1634, pl. of skittle, one of the pins used in the game, probably from a Scand. source (cf. Norw. skyttel "shuttle").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for skittles
Skittles are also used as obstacles in some artistic billiards shots.
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