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crooked, aligned, straight, orderly



How to pronounce askew (audio)

Dictionary definition of askew

Positioned or arranged in a crooked, tilted, or off-center fashion.
"The painting hung askew on the wall, crookedly tilted to one side."

Detailed meaning of askew

It indicates a deviation from the usual or expected alignment, resulting in an asymmetrical or unbalanced appearance. When something is askew, it conveys a sense of disarray, irregularity, or disorder. It can describe objects that are skewed or tilted to one side, such as a picture hanging askew on a wall or a hat sitting askew on someone's head. It can also describe situations or circumstances that are not in their proper or intended state, suggesting a lack of harmony or proper alignment. The adverb "askew" implies a visual or spatial disruption, introducing an element of irregularity or unconventional positioning.

Example sentences of askew

1. The painting hung askew on the wall, crooked and uneven.
2. The tower leaned askew after the earthquake, a precarious sight.
3. His tie dangled askew, giving him a disheveled appearance.
4. The bookshelf stood askew, with books teetering on the edge.
5. The picture frame was askew, skewing the family portrait.
6. The ship listed askew in the turbulent waters of the storm.

History and etymology of askew

The adverb 'askew' has an interesting etymology with Dutch origins. It is derived from the Dutch word 'schuin,' which means 'oblique' or 'slanting.' Over time, 'schuin' was adapted into Middle English as 'eskew,' which retained its meaning of something being positioned in a crooked, tilted, or off-center fashion. The transition from 'eskew' to 'askew' reflects the evolving nature of language and its borrowings from different sources. Therefore, the etymology of 'askew' highlights its historical connection to Dutch, emphasizing the idea of something being not quite straight or aligned, but slightly slanted or skewed.

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Further usage examples of askew

1. Her glasses sat askew on her nose, making her squint.
2. The crooked sign pointed askew, causing confusion for travelers.
3. The row of chairs was arranged askew in the waiting room.
4. The old clock's hands moved askew, marking the wrong time.
5. The car's wheels turned askew on the icy road, causing a skid.
6. The tree stood askew after the strong winds blew through.
7. The curtain rod was installed askew, making the drapes uneven.
8. The crooked path led us askew, away from our intended route.
9. The door handle hung askew, making it difficult to open.
10. The picture on the wall tilted askew, creating an unsettling vibe.
11. Her hat sat askew on her head, casting a shadow over her face.
12. The misplaced tile left the entire floor looking askew.
13. The crooked staircase ascended askew, posing a challenge.
14. The fence leaned askew, needing urgent repairs.
15. She glanced at her reflection in the mirror and adjusted her hat, which was sitting askew on her head.
16. The bookshelf stood askew, with some shelves slanting at odd angles.
17. The picture frame had fallen off the table and now lay askew on the floor.
18. The car skidded on the icy road and came to a stop, its wheels askew.
19. The dancer executed a daring move, landing askew with one leg extended in an unconventional angle.
20. The wind gusts blew the sign askew, making it difficult to read.
21. The storm had left the garden furniture askew, scattered across the lawn.
22. He set the tablecloth askew, deliberately adding a touch of playful disorder to the dining table.
23. The construction scaffolding appeared askew, giving the building a temporary haphazard appearance.
24. The door handle was loose, causing the door to hang slightly askew.
25. The artist arranged the abstract sculptures askew, creating an intentional sense of visual imbalance.


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