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

The problem was the scrimmage took place a week before final exams. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "University of Kentucky soccer players penalized for pickup game with Foo Fighters," 10 Sep. 2018 Get there early — the scrimmage attracted more than 10,000 fans last year. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what you need to know about Black Expo 2018," 11 July 2018 Westlund gets the game-winner The scrimmage was largely defined by good offensive play with some missed opportunities. Mike Persak,, "Panthers' Logan Hutsko flashes skill in development camp scrimmage," 29 June 2018 The group first played together less than a week ago (!) in a pre-tournament scrimmage against Australia on Wednesday, September 21, per ESPN. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The USA Basketball Women's National Team Is Currently Vying For Its Third Consecutive World Cup Victory," 24 Sep. 2018 This joint practice fight comes days after the New York Jets and Washington Redskins brawled during their scrimmage. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Texans star DeAndre Hopkins, 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward fight at joint practice," 15 Aug. 2018 After posting a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in his first five-on-five scrimmage Thursday, Washington totaled 10 points Friday while hitting three long jumpers. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "John Calipari talking to NBA teams about UK players testing out draft," 18 May 2018 Curry, the two-time league most valuable player, on Friday went through his first 5-on-5 scrimmage since the injury. New York Times, "Raptors Eliminate the Wizards, and the Cavaliers Are Pushed to a Game 7," 27 Apr. 2018 Alabama had the second of its three spring scrimmages on Saturday. Matt Zenitz,, "Some takeaways from Alabama's 2nd spring scrimmage," 16 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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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scrimmage line



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Last Updated

1 Mar 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

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