\ ˈskərt \

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 \ adjective


skirter noun

Examples of skirt in a Sentence


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.


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

Dark green may just be the royal color of the season, as Meghan Markle was recently spotted in a leather pencil skirt in the same hue. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Arrived 9 Months Pregnant to Princess Eugenie's Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 In terms of shape, since batteries have gotten cheaper and better, the form factor of the electric bike (big, with pedals, hard in a skirt) has become less necessary. New York Times, "So, About That Treadmill Desk in the Newsroom," 4 July 2018 Per People, Kate actually wore a similar red skirt with a black blazer and boots a decade ago, styled in almost exactly the same way. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "How Kate Middleton's Love for Plaid Grew Over a Decade," 7 Dec. 2018 Brands like Alexander Wang, H&M, Zara, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Tom Ford, and Gucci have made androgynous collections, and in 2016, Jaden Smith appeared in a Louis Vuitton womenswear campaign wearing a skirt (sparking some outraged headlines). Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Finland is getting into gender-neutral shopping. Will the rest of the world be next?," 12 Sep. 2018 After all, female players don’t have to wear dresses or skirts. Vanessa Friedman, The Seattle Times, "Forget Serena Williams’ catsuit. What’s the point of the tennis dress?," 28 Aug. 2018 Grande was also spotted out that day holding hands with Davidson while wearing a Louis Vuitton mini skirt with matching cat ears. Dave Quinn,, "'So Into You!' Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Kiss While Shopping in New York City," 1 July 2018 On his Instagram story, Jonas shared a video of the Quantico star walking towards the camera, wearing a matching gingham-print crop top and A-line midi skirt. Meagan Fredette,, "Nick Jonas & Priyanka Chopra: It's Instagram Official," 23 June 2018 Wearing a flowing white skirt, Lonsdale stepped up to pick up the trophy. Christie D'zurilla,, "2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards keeps the memorable moments coming," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Support for an artist's work and ensuing continued fame enables predators to skirt the law. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "R. Kelly Docuseries Reminds Us That Not All Stories of Sexual Assault Are Treated Equally," 11 Jan. 2019 Seemingly Teflon to scandal, R. Kelly has skirted most consequences — legal, financial, social — relying on a sturdy back catalog, a steady team of employees and a legendarily loyal fan base. Joe Coscarelli,, "After years of allegations, R. Kelly faces a #MeToo reckoning," 1 May 2018 Netflix's attempt to skirt the law angered some members of the French film industry. The New York Times,, "'Roseanne': A not-so-deplorable reboot," 26 Mar. 2018 His lab skirted norms that many of his Chinese peers uphold. Christina Larson, The Seattle Times, "Gene-editing Chinese scientist kept much of his work secret," 28 Nov. 2018 Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock Anderson and Rock (unsurprisingly) skirted a traditional church venue, choosing to tie the knot in 2006 on a yacht in Saint-Tropez. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "11 of the Most Unconventional Celebrity Weddings," 1 Oct. 2018 The throw skirted away and allowed Bregman to second. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Carlos Correa's walkoff single in 12th inning lifts Astros over Royals," 23 June 2018 That storm skirted through the Caribbean and then took a nearly 90-degree turn Northward toward Florida. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What we’ve learned about hurricanes since last year’s devastating season.," 31 May 2018 Manufacturers easily skirted a previous ban by making cosmetic changes to guns. Anchorage Daily News, "I sat down with my old political foe to talk about guns. Here’s what we agreed on.," 23 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for skirt

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skirt

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

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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 \

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on skirt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skirt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skirt

Spanish Central: Translation of skirt

Nglish: Translation of skirt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skirt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on skirt

What made you want to look up skirt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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