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

Jacobs became the first player with 100 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in his first NFL game since Tomlinson launched his Pro Football Hall of Fame career with that accomplishment in 2001. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Josh Jacobs duplicates Hall of Famer in NFL debut," 10 Sep. 2019 Kupp was a security blanket for Jared Goff, catching a six-yard pass on the Rams’ first play from scrimmage and reeling in six more receptions over the course of the win. Sam Farmerstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Rams’ Cooper Kupp productive in his first game back from a torn ACL," 8 Sep. 2019 Last year’s team went 4-0 without Gordon, and running backs Ekeler and Justin Jackson combined for 215 yards from scrimmage Sunday. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Rivers keeps it simple as Chargers run past Colts in OT," 8 Sep. 2019 Last season, quarterback Feleipe Franks accounted for 31 touchdowns, tailback Lamical Perine totaled 926 yards from scrimmage and five players caught at least three touchdowns. Edgar Thompson,, "Preview: No. 8 Florida Gators face Miami Hurricanes," 23 Aug. 2019 As the study notes, 59 percent of injuries were sustained during practice, while 37 percent took place during competition and another 4 percent occurred during scrimmages and various meetings. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "One Concussion-Free Football Season Can Still Damage Players’ Brains," 15 Aug. 2019 Breida showed a lot to the coaching staff last season by amassing 1,080 total yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns despite playing through several injuries. Adam Ronis,, "12 Running Backs Who Have Fantasy Value as Handcuffs in 2019," 13 Aug. 2019 Tayquan Calloway had 850 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns last year to lead Holmes, and twin brother, Quantez, takes over at quarterback. James Weber,, "Here are our predictions for week 0's games to watch in Northern Kentucky/Indiana, Aug. 23," 13 Aug. 2019 Ingram totaled 915 yards from scrimmage and seven scores. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Rookie RB Tony Pollard gets Dak Prescott’s vote as one of Cowboys' 'most exciting' players," 5 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Lady Deer won’t scrimmage Clear Falls because the Lady Knights invade the Deer Park north campus for a Wednesday night rematch of the 2018 Area championship. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Lady Deer volleyball travels to Clear Falls Saturday for series of scrimmages," 2 Aug. 2019 Six computers — one for each of the starters, plus an alternate — were lined up in front of a big screen and white board as the squad scrimmaged against Heat Check Gaming, the Miami’s Heat’s 2K team. Arash Markazi,, "They're Lakers. And in a decade, the esports industry hopes they will be as well known as LeBron," 15 July 2019 Next week in practice, some of the younger group will scrimmage, but none of them will be in a playing position. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs football notebook: FanFest scrimmage will impact who plays in season opener," 15 Aug. 2019 Here's the LA Select Team roster USA Basketball assembled, mostly from the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, currently scrimmaging in LA tonight versus the 15 NBA players vying to make the World Cup Team. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Team USA was blown out by random G League and overseas players in a scrimmage," 14 Aug. 2019 The Spartans are expected to scrimmage again Friday. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football offense, Brian Lewerke feel their mojo is back: Here's why," 12 Aug. 2019 Antelope was supposed to scrimmage Heritage, but was able to get Heritage to make that Antelope's Week 1 game. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Community rallies to help Wellton Antelope get to Alaska for its football season opener," 12 July 2019 Leading up to the World Cup, the U.S. also scrimmaged twice against the Japanese national team, which starred a face soon to be familiar to Cardinals fans: incoming Louisville freshman Norika Konno. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: Louisville basketball's Jeff Walz is flipping out — in a good way," 30 July 2019 Exact details concerning individual and team drills and such matters as to how long the players will scrimmage seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 will emerge soon enough. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals report to camp amid a growing sense of national intrigue and drama," 24 July 2019

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

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for scrimmage

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

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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
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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