A skiff is a small boat. If you decide to purchase a skiff instead of giant yacht, you're probably someone who prefers the quiet, simple life. (Or maybe you just didn’t want to spend the money on a yacht.

  • Pronunciation: /skɪf/
  • English description: any of various small boats propelled by oars or by sails or by a motor
  • Synonyms: sampan
  • Chinese Translation:  小艇(xiao3 ting3)
  • Spanish Translation: esquife
  • ORIGIN: A skiff may be powered by oars, sails, or a motor, but in any of these cases, a typical skiff can carry only a few passengers. Skiff originally referred to a small boat attached to a large ship; the skiff would have been used for communication with and transportation to other large ships and the shore. Winslow Homer, a 19th-century American artist, often portrayed skiffs in his depictions of marine scenes.


  • Then there’s the cabin-less kind, the wooden skiffs that have just a deck and a hold.
  • He gestured to the shore, where a skiff with an outboard motor waited.

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