scrim·​mage | \ˈskri-mij \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2016, Johnson set franchise records for yards from scrimmage (2,118) and touchdowns (20) and was a first-team All-Pro. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Cardinals' David Johnson likes the idea of running behind a fullback," 15 May 2018 That group created consistent issues for Alabama's offensive line throughout the Tide's first two spring scrimmages and then again during Bama's A-Day spring game on Saturday. Matt Zenitz,, "Why Alabama is optimistic about its defensive line," 21 Apr. 2018 During Miami’s first spring scrimmage, Searels moved Hayden Mahoney up to the first unit and shifted Navaughn Donaldson from right guard to right tackle. Christy Cabrera Chirinos,, "After tough spring game performance, Hurricanes' offensive line pushing to improve," 19 Apr. 2018 Miami head coach Mark Richt gave an update on the progress of the quarterbacks following the Hurricanes' spring scrimmage Saturday afternoon. Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle, "Cornerback Jeremy Winchester leaves UH," 7 Apr. 2018 Michigan State players and coaches are ready for the Spartans' offense-vs.-defense spring scrimmage Saturday. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Five observations from Michigan State football's spring game," 7 Apr. 2018 This fact was obvious in LSU's first spring scrimmage last Saturday, according to those who participated away from the prying eyes of the media. Ron Higgins,, "LSU spring football after first week is all about the defense," 21 Mar. 2018 The Vikings don't plan to use their 6,500-seat stadium much, except for the occasional scrimmage during training camp that's open to fans. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "NFL teams are building state-of-the-art practice palaces. Is 'Panthers Park' coming?," 28 June 2018 Why do some players only agree to be measured and interviewed but not scrimmage at the NBA Combine? Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Azubuike scores 13 points in NBA Combine game; Svi cools off with just one bucket | The Kansas City Star," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The players then scrimmaged on their own to help keep the rhythm that has been evident in the nine-game winning streak. Christopher Dabe,, "'They'll do it for Pop': Pelicans not counting out Spurs in wait for next round," 24 Apr. 2018 The Wisconsin junior power forward, who withdrew from the NBA draft, suffered the busted lip going through drills and scrimmaging with other prospects shortly before the May 30 deadline for underclassmen to return to college. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' VR exploration a game-changer for prospects," 9 June 2018 Soon enough, the kids are running around the field, scrimmaging alongside five NFL players. Jenny Vrentas,, "Five Giants, and Those Forgotten After the Storm," 23 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of scrimmage


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


circa 1825, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for scrimmage


Middle English scrymmage, alteration of skyrmissh skirmish

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scrimmage

Dictionary Entries near scrimmage





scrimmage line



Statistics for scrimmage

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scrimmage

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scrimmage



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

: an informal game that is played for practice : a game that is not official



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

: to play in a scrimmage


scrim·​mage | \ˈskri-mij \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!