• An object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artifact made from another material.
  • (Computing) An element of a graphical user interface which mimics a physical object.

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Example Sentences

“The museum had several skeuomorphs of original Bronze Age weaponry.”

“The calendar skeuomorph continually updates to show the correct date.” 

“Allegra uses a paper skeuomorph to model her sewing projects before she begins cutting fabric.”

Word Origin

Greek, late 19th century

Why this word?

“Skeuomorph” comes from the Greek words “skeuos” (“container, implement”) and “morphē” (“form”). The most modern usage of this word shows up in app design. Apple has incorporated skeuomorphs into much of the iPhone interface — the Notes app is represented by a skeuomorph of a notepad, and the timer is a skeuomorph of a clock, for example. These icons are representative of the physical elements they replace. The older usage of “skeuomorph” is an object that resembles the original, but is made out of a different material. For example, many museums put skeuomorphs, or replicas, on display in order to protect the original items. 

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