\ ˈskərt How to pronounce skirt (audio) \

Definition of skirt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a free-hanging part of an outer garment or undergarment extending from the waist down
(2) : a separate free-hanging outer garment or undergarment usually worn by women and girls covering some or all of the body from the waist down
b : either of two usually leather flaps on a saddle covering the bars on which the stirrups are hung
c : a cloth facing that hangs from the bottom edge or across the front of a piece of furniture
d : the lower branches of a tree when near the ground
2a : the rim, periphery, or environs of an area
b skirts plural : outlying parts (as of a town or city)
3 : a part or attachment serving as a rim, border, or edging
4 slang : a girl or woman


skirted; skirting; skirts

Definition of skirt (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to form or run along the border or edge of : border
2a : to provide a skirt for
b : to furnish a border or shield for
3a : to go or pass around or about specifically : to go around or keep away from in order to avoid danger or discovery
b : to avoid especially because of difficulty or fear of controversy skirted the issue
c : to evade or miss by a narrow margin having skirted disaster— Edith Wharton

intransitive verb

: to be, lie, or move along an edge or border

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Other Words from skirt


skirted \ ˈskər-​təd How to pronounce skirt (audio) \ adjective


skirter noun

Examples of skirt in a Sentence

Noun She was wearing a short skirt. The skirt of her coat got caught in the car door. They put a protective skirt around the base of the machine. Verb The mayor skirted the issue by saying that a committee was looking into the problem. They tried to skirt the new regulations. He tried to skirt around the question. Pine trees skirt the northern edge of the pond. The road skirts around the lake. We skirted around the edge of the city.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There was a redhead waiting, wearing a tight black skirt suit with her hair sutured up in a French twist held together with two white Bic pens. Brian Moylan, Vulture, 20 July 2021 Turner paired her boots with a vintage Lenny Kravitz T-shirt and a black mini skirt. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, 19 July 2021 While most of us are reluctantly making the shift back into real clothes after 18 months in soft pants, Haart looks ready for the front row in a tweed Valentino skirt suit and towering black platform heels. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2021 Wearing platform heels and a pink plaid skirt suit, Rodrigo looked like Cher Horowitz meets Hillary Clinton. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 14 July 2021 On Monday, Addison wore a sheer pink shirt and tie-up skirt in a very ~groovy~ pattern. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, 30 June 2021 In a brief, genius scene, Stefani tells her side of the saga, presenting herself as a faultless, God-fearing Christian in a carnation-pink skirt suit who goes on a crude, racist tirade about Zola’s appearance and cleanliness. Jasmin Hernandez, Harper's BAZAAR, 30 June 2021 If a low-key getaway is more your style, the beachy looks in The Talented Mr. Ripley or Blue Crush show how to dress up your bikini (in the former, Gwyneth Paltrow pairs her pink bikini top with a floral skirt and crisp white shirt). Christian Allaire, Vogue, 17 June 2021 The line, which currently includes two styles of trousers, four blazers, a pencil skirt, and a white shirt, will not be discounted to clear out stock. Jenny Hartman, WSJ, 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The criminal complaint details Mazi's scheme to skirt school immunization requirements with false documents. Stella Chan, CNN, 15 July 2021 The Angeles National Forest is home to about 700,000 acres of oaky woodlands and dense shrubbery that skirt the north and eastern edges of Los Angeles County. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2021 Some Democrats in the Senate have started discussing a package as large as $6 trillion that the party could try to advance through reconciliation, a budget maneuver that allows lawmakers to skirt the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, 20 June 2021 In late 2020, the company’s CEO Chris Ripley teased a standalone streaming service that would skirt pay-TV providers and allow fans to subscribe to their regional Bally Sports network directly and stream live in-market games. Joey Morona, cleveland, 17 June 2021 The Federal Election Commission fined the publisher of the National Enquirer $187,000 for payments the tabloid made to hide a story about former President Donald Trump's ex-mistress while letting Trump and his campaign officials skirt any penalties. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 2 June 2021 One way for couples to skirt these issues would be to delay their weddings another year, but that’s not an option for everyone. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 29 May 2021 But some view the board as a distraction by Facebook to skirt its responsibility and to stave off action by Congress or the Biden administration. Marcy Gordon, Star Tribune, 7 May 2021 During the decade when spending was constrained by the Budget Control Act of 2011, the OCO account was a convenient way for Congress to skirt the spending caps known as sequestration. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, 9 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skirt.' 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 skirt


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1602, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for skirt


Middle English, from Old Norse skyrta shirt, kirtle — more at shirt

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Time Traveler for skirt

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near skirt




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Statistics for skirt

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Skirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for skirt



English Language Learners Definition of skirt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of clothing worn by women and girls that hangs from the waist down
: the part of a dress, coat, etc., that hangs from the waist down
: an outer covering that hangs down to protect something



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

: to avoid (something) especially because it is difficult or will cause problems
: to lie or go along the edge of (something)


\ ˈskərt How to pronounce skirt (audio) \

Kids Definition of skirt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a piece of clothing or part of a piece of clothing worn by women or girls that hangs from the waist down
2 : a part or attachment serving as a rim, border, or edging


skirted; skirting

Kids Definition of skirt (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : to go or pass around or about the outer edge of Using the two-bladed paddle I quickly skirted the south part of the island.— Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins
3 : to avoid for fear of difficulty She skirted the issue.

More from Merriam-Webster on skirt

Nglish: Translation of skirt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skirt for Arabic Speakers


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