Definition of SKATE
: a thin awkward-looking or decrepit horse : nag
: fellow 4c http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ska...skate—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. —n. Slang.
1. a person; fellow: He's a good skate.
2. a contemptible person.
3. an inferior, decrepit horse; nag.
[Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc.]http://dictionary.infoplease.com/skate
Oxford also only lists the unhyphenated form:roller skate
* each of a pair of boots or metal frames fitted to shoes with four or more small wheels, for gliding across a hard surface.http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/roll...
example for the "horse" sense:It was a pretty good place with good eats, and a day off each week, and sleeping on a cot in a big barn, and mostly just shovelling in hay and oats to a lot of big good-enough skates of horses, that couldn't have trotted a race with a toad. I wasn't dissatisfied and I could send money home.
[Sherwood Anderson, "I'm a Fool"]