skate


skate
skate1
skateable, adj.
/skayt/, n., v., skated, skating.
n.
1. See ice skate (def. 1).
2. See roller skate.
3. the blade of an ice skate.
4. a skid on a lifeboat to facilitate launching from a listing ship.
5. get or put one's skates on, Brit. Informal. to make haste.
v.i.
6. to glide or propel oneself over ice, the ground, etc., on skates.
7. to glide or slide smoothly along.
8. Slang. to shirk one's duty; loaf.
9. (of the tone arm on a record player) to swing toward the spindle while a record is playing.
v.t.
10. to slide (a flat) across the floor of a stage.
11. skate on thin ice, to be or place oneself in a risky or delicate situation: Taking a public stand on the question would be skating on thin ice.
[1640-50; orig. pl. scates < D schaats (sing.) skate, MD schaetse stilt (cf. ML scatia) < ?]
skate2
/skayt/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) skate, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) skates.
any of several rays of the genus Raja, usually having a pointed snout, as R. binoculata (big skate), inhabiting waters along the Pacific coast of the U.S., growing to a length of 8 ft. (2.4 m).
[1300-50; ME scate < ON skati]
skate3
/skayt/, n. Slang.
1. a person; fellow: He's a good skate.
2. a contemptible person.
3. an inferior, decrepit horse; nag.
[perh. special use of SKATE2]

* * *

I
Any of nine genera (suborder Rajoidea) of rounded to diamond-shaped rays.

These bottom-dwellers are found from tropical to near-Arctic waters and from the shallows to depths of more than 9,000 ft (2,700 m). Most have spines on the upper surface, and some have weak electrical organs in their long, slender tails. Skates lay oblong, leathery eggs (called mermaid's purses), which are often found on beaches. Species vary from 20 in. (50 cm) to 8 ft (2.5 m) long. They swim with an undulating movement of their pectoral fins. They trap active mollusk, crustacean, and fish prey by dropping down on them from above. Skates' "wings" are edible.
II
(as used in expressions)
roller skating

* * *

      first production-model nuclear-powered attack submarine of the U.S. Navy. Launched and commissioned in 1957, it was similar to the first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus, but smaller, displacing only 2,360 tons. Like the Nautilus, the Skate and the three other boats in its class incorporated nuclear propulsion into a streamlined “Guppy”-style hull that had been adapted from advanced German designs of World War II. This combination allowed them to maintain underwater speeds in excess of 20 knots indefinitely. The Skate was the first submarine to make a completely submerged transatlantic crossing (1958) and the first to surface at the North Pole (1959). It was armed with torpedoes for attacking surface ships.

      By the early 1960s the Skate class was removed from frontline service in favour of the faster Skipjack class, which was based on a tapered “teardrop” hull developed in the early 1950s. The Skate was decommissioned in 1986.

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Universalium. 2010.

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