\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In an anachronism that defined this Saab spring aesthetic, it was worn alongside a sheer 1990s’ tulle skirt. Thomas Adamson, ajc, 1 Oct. 2022 Avoid a busy look with a simple Christmas tree ribbon, topper, and Christmas tree skirt. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Oct. 2022 Sarah’s skirt was made up of many layers of chiffon and organza dyed different colors. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 1 Oct. 2022 Swift, dressed in a jade green tweed coat and skirt ensemble, fearfully asks the concerned looking men. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 1 Oct. 2022 While most people will do the yellow plaid skirt suit, this black blazer, mini skirt and knee-high combo feels more fun. Brittany Talarico, Peoplemag, 29 Sep. 2022 The Lower East Side show opened with a model flaunting a deconstructed suit turned skirt and a dress shirt–styled back to accentuate the physique. Cassandra Pintro, Vogue, 28 Sep. 2022 The first collection encapsulates everything Cushnie brides loved about her original collection—sensual draping, tailoring, not an embellishment or princess skirt in sight—plus a few dresses for bridesmaids (or chic guests who just missed the cut). Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 Sep. 2022 The ensemble—look 10 from the collection—comprised a white button-up shirt, an orange leather maxi skirt equipped with an impossibly high thigh slit, and black knee-high leather boots. Alex Kessler, Glamour, 26 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Furthermore, even if an NDA exists, sometimes the member will try to skirt around the provisions. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 8 Aug. 2022 Migrants often try to skirt the checkpoint by crossing nearby ranches, but the landscape can be disorienting and the heat punishing. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 2 Aug. 2022 At Shore Galleries, for example, inspectors attributed incomplete sales forms to clerical errors instead of any willful attempt to skirt regulatory requirements. Champe Barton, USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2022 Tech inspectors look for signs of potential failure before races, and pilots must attend racing school to learn how to skirt the pylons and maintain a high speed with maximum safety while flying close to other racers. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 July 2022 This allows Netflix to skirt Apple’s 30% commission for in-app purchases. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 25 July 2022 The effort closes a loophole where jails could skirt reporting in-custody deaths if an inmate died at a hospital or on the way to a hospital. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 July 2022 Webster said the guns skirt federal and state laws and are a growing problem. Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY, 24 June 2022 Her mother, Trevor’s grandmother, even tried to skirt Garcia’s rules and buy Trevor a smartphone. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About skirt

Time Traveler for skirt

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near skirt




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for skirt

Last Updated

4 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Skirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for skirt


\ 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!