skirmish

2 ENTRIES FOUND:

1skir·mish

noun \ˈskər-mish\

: a brief and usually unplanned fight during a war

: a minor or brief argument or disagreement

Full Definition of SKIRMISH

1
:  a minor fight in war usually incidental to larger movements
2
a :  a brisk preliminary verbal conflict
b :  a minor dispute or contest between opposing parties <the debate touched off a skirmish>

Examples of SKIRMISH

  1. Skirmishes broke out between rebel groups.
  2. Violent skirmishes with the enemy continue despite talks of peace.

Origin of SKIRMISH

Middle English skyrmissh, alteration (influenced by Anglo-French eskermir to fence (with swords), protect, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German scirmen to protect, scirm shield) of skarmuch, from Anglo-French escarmuche, from Old Italian scaramuccia — more at screen
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to SKIRMISH

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical

2skirmish

intransitive verb

: to be involved in a skirmish

Full Definition of SKIRMISH

1
:  to engage in a skirmish
2
:  to search about (as for supplies) :  scout around
skir·mish·er noun

Examples of SKIRMISH

  1. Rebel groups are skirmishing with military forces.
  2. The presidential candidates skirmished over their economic plans.

First Known Use of SKIRMISH

14th century

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical

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