Word Origin & History
"rough drawing intended to serve as the bases for a finished picture," 1668, from Du. schets, from It. schizzo "sketch, drawing," lit. "a splash, squirt," from schizzare "to splash or squirt," of uncertain origin, perhaps from L. schedium "an extemporaneous poem," from Gk. skedios "temporary, extemporaneous,"
related to skhein, aor. inf. of ekhein "to have" (see scheme
). Ger. Skizze, Fr. esquisse, Sp. esquicio are from Italian. The verb is attested from 1694. Extended sense of "brief account" is from 1668; meaning "short play or performance, usually comic" is from 1789. Sketchy first recorded 1805.