# What is Skewness?

Legal Definition
In probability theory and statistics, skewness is a measure of the asymmetry of the probability distribution of a real-valued random variable about its mean. The skewness value can be positive or negative, or even undefined.

The qualitative interpretation of the skew is complicated. For a unimodal distribution, negative skew indicates that the tail on the left side of the probability density function is longer or fatter than the right side – it does not distinguish these two kinds of shape. Conversely, positive skew indicates that the tail on the right side is longer or fatter than the left side. In cases where one tail is long but the other tail is fat, skewness does not obey a simple rule. For example, a zero value means that the tails on both sides of the mean balance out overall; this is the case for a symmetric distribution, but is also true for an asymmetric distribution where the asymmetries even out, such as one tail being long but thin, and the other being short but fat. Further, in multimodal distributions and discrete distributions, skewness is also difficult to interpret. Importantly, the skewness does not determine the relationship of mean and median. In cases where it is necessary, data might be transformed to have a normal distribution.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
The degree to which a statistical distribution is out of balance around a mean level. The balnce is biased to one side with either a negative or positive skew.