19th century US. Probably an alteration of British dialect scaddle ("to run off in a fright"), from the adjective scaddle ("wild, timid, skittish"), from Middle English scathel, skadylle ("harmful, fierce, wild"), perhaps of Scandinavian origin, from Norse, Old *sköþull; or from Old English *scaþol, *sceaþol (see scathel); akin to Old Norse skaði ("harm"). Pronunciation
  • (RP, America) IPA: /skɪˈdædəl/

skedaddle (skedaddles, present participle skedaddling; past and past participle skedaddled)

  1. (informal, intransitive) To move or run away quickly.
    • 1895 October 1, Stephen Crane, chapter 2, in The Red Badge of Courage, 1st US edition, New York: D. Appleton and Company, [ page 29]:
      "Well," continued the youth, "lots of good-a-'nough men have thought they was going to do great things before the fight, but when the time come they skedaddled."
  2. (transitive, regional) To spill; to scatter.
Synonyms Translations Noun

skedaddle (plural skedaddles)

  1. (informal) The act of running away; a scurrying off.

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