\ 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


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

Students can mix and match to complement their personal style, or wear a denim jacket with a denim skirt or pants as a matching set. Tyra Mcclung,, "Back to school in style: Here’s what’s trending this fall," 7 Aug. 2019 Hurd's district, which he's represented for three terms, skirts the Mexican border and is majority Hispanic. Alan Fram,, "Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, 1 of 2 black Republicans in Congress, won’t run for re-election," 2 Aug. 2019 The outermost of the three planets skirts the edge of the system’s habitable zone—where liquid water could exist and life arise—but both of the mass-measuring methods could hint at whether there is a farther rocky planet inside that zone. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Newly discovered exoplanet trio could unravel the mysteries of super-Earth formation," 29 July 2019 And to prevent jurors from seeing the defendants in shackles, court officials will wrap the defense table with a cloth skirt and remove the jury from the courtroom before the defendants are led in or out. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Richard Grundy's federal drug trial starts Monday. Here's what you need to know.," 7 July 2019 Beyond that, the stage was a sea of sameness rippled ever so slightly by splashes of necktie color – predominantly blue – and the triangle of red blouse peeking from the navy blue blazer Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar paired with a knee-length skirt. Adam Tschorn,, "The 2020 Democratic debates: A pop of red, a naked neck and a sea of navy blue," 28 June 2019 The look is reminiscent of actor Billy Porter’s tuxedo gown at the Academy Awards this year, except Beetz’s white skirt offers a stark contrast to her suit. Terry Nguyen, Teen Vogue, "Zazie Beetz’s Suit-Dress Is The Definition of Camp," 7 May 2019 From left: Lizzie wears 3.1 Phillip Lim top, Valentino skirt; Kim wears Theory top, Hugo Boss pants; Kathryn wears Boss dress. Mia Adorante, Town & Country, "How One Mother’s Beauty Philosophy Became a Powerful Family Bond," 21 Mar. 2019 Shayk's model-off-duty apparel was nonetheless elegant, with a camel coat, chunky turtleneck sweater, white skirt, brown leather boots, and gold hoop earrings. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk Make a Rare Appearance in NYC," 20 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The show about almost everything skirted only one notable topic: race. Kyle Smith, National Review, "How Seinfeld Mastered the Comedy Domain," 13 July 2019 Since making her entrance on the royal stage in 2017, Meghan Markle has skirted royal protocols and inspired legions of shoppers with her outfits—specifically, her outfits in jeans. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Meghan Markle's Favorite Jeans Are Available at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale," 12 July 2019 Zamora skirted around many of the questions asked by the boy's father. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Teacher Brittany Zamora may have been grooming other students for sex, report shows," 10 July 2019 Some places may be almost completely skirted by the rains. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019 The United States prohibits Americans from buying and selling petros, arguing that Venezuela is using them to skirt tough sanctions. Fabiana Sofia Perera, Washington Post, "Bitcoin, move over. There’s a new cryptocurrency in town: The petro.," 26 Feb. 2018 In Manteca, city officials circumnavigated that problem — literally — by building a separate bike and pedestrian path that skirts the interchange. Michael Cabanatuan,, "Prepare to be perplexed: New diverging diamond interchanges coming to California," 19 July 2019 Today, archaeologists have catalogued the remains of hundreds of these waterside islands, most of which now look like tiny, tree-covered islands or mounds that skirt just below the water's surface. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Scotland’s Tiny Artificial Islands Date to the Stone Age," 14 June 2019 Located on the Corniche, the highway that skirts Doha’s bay, Nouvel’s museum stands near an early-20th-century palace where members of Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family once lived. Julie Lasky, ELLE Decor, "ED First Look: The National Museum of Qatar," 26 Mar. 2019

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

11 Aug 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 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

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

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of or relating to the heavens

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