1

skirmish

noun skir·mish \ ˈskər-mish \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

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 in a Sentence

  1. Skirmishes broke out between rebel groups.

  2. Violent skirmishes with the enemy continue despite talks of peace.

Recent Examples of skirmish from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology 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


2

skirmish

verb

Definition of skirmish

skirmished; skirmishing; skirmishes
1 : to engage in a skirmish
2 : to search about (as for supplies) : scout around

skirmisher

noun

Examples of skirmish in a Sentence

  1. Rebel groups are skirmishing with military forces.

  2. The presidential candidates skirmished over their economic plans.

Recent Examples of skirmish from the Web

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

First Known Use of skirmish

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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SKIRMISH Defined for English Language Learners

skirmish

Definition of skirmish for English Language Learners

  • : a brief and usually unplanned fight during a war

  • : a minor or brief argument or disagreement


skirmish

Definition of skirmish for English Language Learners

  • : to be involved in a skirmish


SKIRMISH Defined for Kids

1

skirmish

noun skir·mish \ ˈskər-mish \

Definition of skirmish for Students

1 : a minor fight in war
2 : a minor argument

2

skirmish

verb

Definition of skirmish for Students

skirmished; skirmishing
: to take part in a fight or dispute


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