\ 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 skirted (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 Combining two big trends into one great skirt (accordion pleats and lavender), this piece will still be timeless enough to wear for a few years yet. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "The best womenswear deals from Amazon’s Big Style Sale," 22 June 2020 Arden said Epstein, who met her at the hotel room barefoot, groped her and tried to take off her clothes by lifting up her skirt. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Days after Ghislaine Maxwell's arrest, Epstein accuser demands investigation into sexual battery allegation," 6 July 2020 Crafted from pure, lightweight cotton, this skirt features a set-on waistband, allover box pleats for a flattering full silhouette, and a center back zip closure. Mark Heim |, al, "Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy, offers up to 70 percent off select items," 8 July 2020 Her closet is filled with cutesy pajamas, animal slippers, and skirt-overalls that were no doubt picked out by her overprotective widower father. Irina Grechko,, "The Baby-Sitters Club Leans Into ‘90s Fashion — With A Gen Z Twist," 2 July 2020 The practical summertime essential combines the carefree coverage of shorts with the elegant nature of a skirt. Christie Calucchia, Southern Living, "Lilly Pulitzer Just Discounted Over 700 Items for Its Huge Summer Sale," 29 June 2020 Caution to all shoppers---there’s a big difference between outside and inside skirt steaks. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Fourth of July grilling: Raising the stakes with steak," 29 June 2020 This bed skirt is made from elastic and easily fits on the outside of your bed frame. Leeron Hoory, Popular Science, "Under-bed storage to maximize the space in your tiny room," 8 Nov. 2019 Kutlure and Cardi can be seen wearing an identical plaid skirt and hat, which happens to be the brands recognizable DNA. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Cardi B And Kulture Match In Adorable Burberry Look," 26 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The official forecast path has shifted ever so slightly to the east overnight and now suggests the center of Isaias will skirt along Florida’s east coast tonight through Monday. Leigh Morgan, al, "Hurricane Isaias 2020 track shifts a bit eastward as it approaches Florida," 1 Aug. 2020 True to the Hong Kong protest movement’s reputation for being resilient and creatively versatile, people have already come up with all sorts of ideas to skirt the ban on their rallying cry. Mary Hui, Quartz, "As in mainland China, Hong Kongers now use code to evade political censorship," 3 July 2020 By Sunday night, the storm’s swirling outer rain bands were skirting closer to the coast. NBC News, "Tropical Storm Arthur crawls closer to North Carolina coast," 17 May 2020 But in starting production without permission, the company has barreled past the legal process and skirted negotiations with the county. Los Angeles Times, "Elon Musk’s surprise reopening of Tesla pits business against government," 11 May 2020 However, the reality in the years leading up to the hurricane was a far cry from that rosy picture, with P.R. suffering a massive debt crisis, high unemployment and a poverty rate skirting 50 percent. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Landfall': Film Review | Tribeca 2020," 30 Apr. 2020 If a diaphragm call feels too wide and bulky in your mouth, trim the tape skirt a little bit with scissors. Michael Hanback, Outdoor Life, "25 Top Spring Turkey Hunting Tips," 20 Apr. 2020 In Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese enclave, residents have hunkered down since the end of January, practicing an early wariness that helped the city skirt the virus’ worst—at least so far. Time, "'I’m Very Worried.' Hong Kong Sanitation Worker Keeps Collecting the Trash Despite Virus Fears," 10 Apr. 2020 Our survey also explored the reasons why people might be skirting stay-at-home directives. Thomas Goetz, Wired, "A Lot of People Don't Even Know They Should Stay Home," 9 Apr. 2020

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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Statistics for skirt

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Skirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for skirt


How to pronounce skirt (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on skirt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skirt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skirt

Spanish Central: Translation of skirt

Nglish: Translation of skirt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skirt for Arabic Speakers

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