\ 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

That said, Paula Hian’s spring 2018 is all about saturated pastels — blush pink, lemony yellow, and grass green — A-line dresses in shrunken jackets with matching midi-skirts. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Welcome to Paula Hian's King of Prussia pop-up | Elizabeth Wellington," 12 July 2018 Best Prime Day loungewear • Mae Scoop-Neck Thong Bodysuit: The perfect basic for summer, pair this versatile cotton bodysuit with high-waist shorts, wide-legged denim, or a skirt—the options are endless. Susan Brickell,, "The Bra and Underwear Sale You Won't Want to Miss on Amazon Tomorrow," 12 July 2018 The Duchess began her day in a bespoke Dior little black dress that drew comparisons to her elegant white Givenchy wedding gown, due to its bateau neckline, fitted waist, and flared skirt. Cady Lang, Time, "Meghan Markle Changed Her Outfit Five Times In 24 Hours," 11 July 2018 For example, Middleton's dress today featured shorter sleeves and a more fitted skirt. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Channeled the Dress She Wore to the Royal Wedding," 10 July 2018 Traditionalists flick a fan or a skirt to mark their control over the physical space. New York Times, "Bomba: The Enduring Anthem of Puerto Rico," 7 July 2018 Malayah was last seen wearing grey sleeveless shirt with red and blue designs on the front and a grey skirt with brown shoes. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "Amber Alert for missing Symmes Township girl," 6 July 2018 And to keep them from flying up, some women had tailors put weights in their hems or line their skirt fronts with leather. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wheel, the Woman, and the Human Body," 6 July 2018 Metcalf and her friends like crocheted crop tops, lightweight fabric off-the-shoulder tops and one-piece bathing suits worn with overalls or jean mini skirts. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "How to look cool when it's hot: Your expert style guide for Forecastle," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The president appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would double the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany, skirting transit countries such as Ukraine. Edmund Demarche, Fox News, "Trump, NATO head have testy exchange at summit," 11 July 2018 The need to skirt neutrality laws disappeared when the United States officially entered World War I in April 1917. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Or, for the bold, attempt to skirt the strict dress code regulations. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Why Wimbledon Players Have to Wear All White," 2 July 2018 There would be no reason for the Warriors to skirt using their full mid-level exception to add even more talent after Durant yet again cut the team a financial break. Rob Mahoney,, "Kevin Durant Cuts Warriors a Break by Reportedly Wishing to Re-Sign to Team-Friendly Contract," 30 June 2018 More broadly, this seems like yet another attempt to skirt the core issue — of guns — and instead look for practically anything else to address the problem behind school shootings. German Lopez, Vox, "Fox News writer: the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a … cannon," 1 June 2018 But emotional support animals don’t always have the specialized training service animals receive, and some suspect at least certain flyers use the designation to skirt rules governing household pets. Lauren Zumbach,, "American Airlines bans emotional support amphibians, ferrets, goats and more," 14 May 2018 Trump’s insistence on a wall, albeit one that skirts mountains and rivers, continues to be a sticking point. Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, "Despite injunction, Congress works for DACA solution," 10 Jan. 2018 However, supporters of SDSU West have used that to say SoccerCity is skirting environmental law. Phillip Molnar,, "Taxpayers association says SoccerCity has bigger tax benefit to city," 12 July 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

8 Sep 2018

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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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).


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