scrim·​mage | \ ˈskri-mij How to pronounce scrimmage (audio) \

Definition of scrimmage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a minor battle : skirmish
b : a confused fight : scuffle
2a : the interplay between two football teams that begins with the snap of the ball and continues until the ball is dead
b : practice play (as in football or basketball) between two squads


scrimmaged; scrimmaging

Definition of scrimmage (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to take part in a scrimmage

transitive verb

: to play a scrimmage against

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Other Words from scrimmage


scrimmager noun

Examples of scrimmage in a Sentence


The first play from scrimmage netted them a touchdown. the two players got into a scrimmage off the court and got suspended


Last weekend we scrimmaged against Bell High.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Edwards-Helaire, Guice’s former high school teammate at Baton Rouge Catholic who arrived on campus to rave reviews last year, stood out in an April 14 scrimmage with 18 carries for 109 yards (and five touchdowns, mostly from short yardage). Joan Niesen,, "Six Players Who Helped Their Own Cause During Spring Football," 24 Apr. 2018 One example: About midway through the scrimmage, Moore brought it up in transition, broke down his defender, drew help, then found Udoka Azubuike for an alley-oop. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "We shouldn't overreact to a KU hoops scrimmage. But here's one prediction for 2018-19," 13 June 2018 Rising: Melvin Frazier, G/F, Tulane A popular sleeper coming into the week, Frazier was one of the most impressive players on the first day of the combine and chose to shut it down on Friday and skip the scrimmage. Jeremy Woo,, "Which Players Without Agents Helped or Hurt Their Stock During the NBA Draft Combine?," 18 May 2018 The scrimmages conclude a period of practices allowable under Florida High School Athletic Association rules. J.c. Carnahan,, "Top 10 spring football games this month include Boone at Olympia," 10 May 2018 Alexander found Mataio Talalemotu for a 49-yard completion to open the 50-play scrimmage, but the PSU defense forced a field goal on that drive and went on to stop the offense on eight of its 11 drives. Joel Odom,, "Defense impresses in Portland State Vikings spring football game," 28 Apr. 2018 The half resembled the Wildcats’ open scrimmage the previous Saturday, one that the defense generally controlled. Michael Lev, azcentral, "Defense dominates Arizona Wildcats football spring game," 14 Apr. 2018 From 2015 through 2017, 71 concussions came on kickoff plays—amounting to about five times the frequency as on regular plays from scrimmage. Peter King,, "A New Look for the Kickoff, and Readers’ Messages of Thanks to Peter King," 23 May 2018 Only one softball scrimmage is permitted between Monday and the end of the school day Friday. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Ejection penalties one topic discussed at UIL Legislative Council meeting," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Tsohonis and McDaniels played on a team comprised of Pacific Northwest standouts that scrimmaged against Stewart and Team USA ahead of the Nike Hoop Summit. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Washington commits keep recruiting 5-star Jaden McDaniels, but he’s still ‘taking my time’," 13 Apr. 2019 Outlook: New Orleans' quick work of the Trail Blazers nearly gave it a crack at Stephen Curry-less Golden State, but Curry scrimmaged Friday and is questionable for Saturday. Paul Coro,, "Pelicans vs. Warriors: How they match up in the second round of the NBA playoffs," 27 Apr. 2018 A year after scrimmaging at Jesuit High School, local players like Breeze and Lamar Winston Jr. once again reveled at the chance to play closer to home. Tyson Alger,, "Oregon Ducks revel in opportunity to play in Portland: Spring practice recap," 7 Apr. 2018 Thursday night, the Deer Park 9U All-Stars scrimmaged a select team called the Contact, while a group of Bronco (11-12) all-stars worked out against the Toros. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Scrimmage helps Deer Park 9s prepare for busy June," 1 June 2018 Curry is currently scrimmaging 5-on-5 for the first time in weeks. Christopher Dabe,, "Stephen Curry decision to come after shootaround before facing Pelicans: report," 27 Apr. 2018 The players arrive en masse each morning, usually scrimmaging against each other. Rick Maese,, "He quit a State Department job to play video games. Now he's a star in NBA's 2K League.," 9 July 2018 Wilson and some others on the Golden Eagles Alumni got to scrimmage against some current MU players on Thursday, extending the bond to another generation. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Golden Eagles Alumni band together for opening win in The Basketball Tournament," 30 June 2018 The proposed amendment states that schools in both sports shall not scrimmage prior to the date set forth by the UIL calendar, and not to exceed two scrimmages per week, Monday through Saturday. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Ejection penalties one topic discussed at UIL Legislative Council meeting," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scrimmage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scrimmage


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1536, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for scrimmage


Middle English scrymmage, alteration of skyrmissh skirmish

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Dictionary Entries near scrimmage





scrimmage line



Statistics for scrimmage

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for scrimmage

The first known use of scrimmage was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of scrimmage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

American football : the point in a game at which the center passes or throws the ball to the quarterback
US : an informal game that is played for practice : a game that is not official



English Language Learners Definition of scrimmage (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to play in a scrimmage


scrim·​mage | \ ˈskri-mij How to pronounce scrimmage (audio) \

Kids Definition of scrimmage

1 : the action between two football teams when one attempts to move the ball down the field
2 : a practice game between two teams or between two groups from the same team

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More from Merriam-Webster on scrimmage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scrimmage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scrimmage

Spanish Central: Translation of scrimmage

Nglish: Translation of scrimmage for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about scrimmage

Comments on scrimmage

What made you want to look up scrimmage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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