If you're skittish, you're unpredictable and excitable. You've probably seen skittish horses in parades — the loud noises and crowds of people make them very nervous and jumpy.

The adjective skittish isn't just for animals — humans can be skittish too. If you're sleeping in a haunted house, for example, you're likely to be skittish, jumping at every moving shadow. Skittish can also mean flighty in thought — like your boss who's skittish about giving you a raise and avoids discussing it. The word is thought to have come from the Scandinavian word skyt, meaning "very lively, frivolous."

Definitions of skittish
  1. adjective
    unpredictably excitable (especially of horses)
    synonyms: flighty, nervous, spooky
    easily excited
Word Family