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Skedaddle (third-person singular simple present Skedaddles, present participle skedaddling, simple past and past participle skedaddled)

  1. To move or run away quickly.
    The sheep skedaddled as soon as the shepherd’s dog came near.



abscond, absquatulate, back out, beat a retreat, begone, boggle, bolt, career, chicken, chicken out, clear out, cut and run, cut out, dart, dash, decamp, depart, desert, desert under fire, dog it, elope, falter, fight shy, flee, fling, fly, fugitate, funk, funk out, get cold feet, go AWOL, haste, hasten, hie, hightail, hump, hump it, hurry, hurtle, jib, jump, jump a mile, jump bail, kite, lam, levant, lose courage, make haste, make off, panic, post, powder, race, run, run away, run away from, run away with, run for it, run off, rush, scamper, scoot, scour, scram, scramble, screw, scud, scurry, scuttle, shoot, show the heels, shy, skip, skip out, slip the cable, split, stampede, start, start aside, startle, step on it, take French leave, take a powder, take flight, take off, take to flight, take wing, tear, turn tail, vamoose


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), of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skaði (harm). Possibly related to the Greek σκέδασις (skedasis, scattering), σκεδασμός (skedasmos, dispersion). (US) Possibly related to scud or scat.




  • 1897 Hunter, Robert, and Charles Morris (editors), Universal Dictionary of the English Language, v4, p4291: "Etym. doubtful; perhaps allied to scud. To betake one's self hurriedly to flight; to run away as in a panic; to fly in terror. (A word of American origin.)"