skirmish

noun
skir·​mish | \ ˈskər-mish How to pronounce skirmish (audio) \

Definition of skirmish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a minor fight in war usually incidental to larger movements
2a : a brisk preliminary verbal conflict
b : a minor dispute or contest between opposing parties the debate touched off a skirmish

skirmish

verb
skirmished; skirmishing; skirmishes

Definition of skirmish (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

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Other Words from skirmish

Verb

skirmisher noun

Synonyms for skirmish

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of skirmish in a Sentence

Noun Skirmishes broke out between rebel groups. Violent skirmishes with the enemy continue despite talks of peace. Verb Rebel groups are skirmishing with military forces. The presidential candidates skirmished over their economic plans.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His company was involved in a skirmish with the Viet Cong. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, 30 May 2021 Payne was ejected from Sunday's 99-90 Game 1 playoff win over the Los Angeles Lakers after getting double technicals following a skirmish with 9:01 left in the game. Katherine Fitzgerald, The Arizona Republic, 24 May 2021 Gonzales County was the site of the first skirmish of the Texas Revolution, and its residents hold on to that pride nearly 200 years later. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, 12 Mar. 2021 Loons players Hassani Dotson and Chase Gasper were fined as well for their parts in a skirmish that occurred before both teams left the field. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, 29 May 2021 The first skirmish between the cross-state foes came 3:15 into Sunday’s action. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, 16 May 2021 Once again, the police charged only the other man in the skirmish, accusing him of swinging a baton at Mr. Nordean. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2021 Alex Palou trails Romain Grosjean by 7 seconds, even after a little skirmish with Takuma Sato. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 15 May 2021 Castellanos served the suspension last week for his role in a benches-clearing skirmish with the Cardinals on April 3 at Great American Ball Park. Dave Clark, The Enquirer, 28 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Protesters also skirmished with officers, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas in a repeat of Tuesday night's confrontation. Doug Glass, Anchorage Daily News, 28 May 2020 Cue some terrific effects makeovers — look for Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ed Skrein under the feathers — as well as action that outstrips the knights-versus-fairies skirmishing from last time. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Oct. 2019 The following week, police and protesters skirmished. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2019 On Monday police skirmished for hours to keep protesters from entering the Barcelona airport and shutting it down. Time, 17 Oct. 2019 The city has had a period of relative calm since then, though police skirmished with some protesters near Prince Edward subway station on Saturday night. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Dec. 2019 Lyric sites like Genius have skirmished with publishers over the past several years; Genius suggested that the reprints could be defended as fair use but ultimately struck deals with record labels. Adi Robertson, The Verge, 18 June 2019 In recent months, the United States and its allies have skirmished with Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf region, where Iran has sought to impede the passage of commercial tankers through the Strait of Hormuz. Erin Cunningham, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2019 The words were emblazoned beneath an image of the cannon on a battle flag flown at the Battle of Gonzalez where Mexican dragoons skirmished unsuccessfully with the Texian rebels to decide the matter. Myke Cole, The New Republic, 1 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of skirmish

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for skirmish

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for skirmish

Time Traveler

The first known use of skirmish was in the 14th century

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Statistics for skirmish

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Skirmish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skirmish. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for skirmish

skirmish

noun

English Language Learners Definition of skirmish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a brief and usually unplanned fight during a war
: a minor or brief argument or disagreement

skirmish

verb

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

: to be involved in a skirmish

skirmish

noun
skir·​mish | \ ˈskər-mish How to pronounce skirmish (audio) \

Kids Definition of skirmish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

skirmish

verb
skirmished; skirmishing

Kids Definition of skirmish (Entry 2 of 2)

: to take part in a fight or dispute

More from Merriam-Webster on skirmish

Nglish: Translation of skirmish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about skirmish

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