\ 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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Like goths or scene kids, egirls are immediately recognizable, perma-posing in a schoolgirl skirt and vibrant dyed hair, maybe topped with kitty ears. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 2 June 2021 She was also known for her fashion sense, impeccably dressed every day in a skirt or dress coordinated with matching jewelry or a scarf, and her short hair curled. Kelly Smith, Star Tribune, 31 May 2021 Cameras zoomed in on an actress playing a dealer of fine art — chicly dressed in a pencil skirt made from bold African textiles — who offered a coy smile as an old flame stepped into her gallery. New York Times, 10 May 2021 And Tonka [from the House of Comme des Garçons] is in, like, this little skirt. Manuel Betancourt, Vulture, 6 May 2021 On the screen were a man in work jeans and a woman in an Indigenous skirt. Michael E. Miller, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2021 One of her humorous takes on the genre shows a cleaver-wielding butcher distracted by a woman in a short skirt. Julie Belcove, Robb Report, 4 Apr. 2021 In a 15-second spot promoting her popular Promise fragrance, JLo is seen twirling around in a sparkling skirt and crop top set, before a quote pops up on the screen. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 25 Mar. 2021 Hailey Bieber arrived in a belly-baring Alessandra Rich bandeau top and matching pencil skirt. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 15 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With narrow control of the House and Senate, Democrats can pass legislation through a process called budget reconciliation to skirt the 60-vote threshold for most bills in the Senate. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, 19 May 2021 Sky Chefs shouldn’t be allowed to skirt the law and get away with this. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Apr. 2021 The junta has ordered mobile operators and internet service providers to restrict access to certain websites and virtual private networks, or VPNs, that can skirt internet filtering. NBC News, 18 May 2021 And when the next outrage does inevitably occur, the Recording Academy can now skirt blame by pointing to an easy-to-understand nomination process that puts power back in the hands of the 11,000-person voting membership. Paul Grein, Billboard, 13 May 2021 In the meantime, dropshippers shouldn’t skirt around or ignore difficult questions like the seller of those $72 cow print boots (whose listing, thankfully, has now been taken down by Depop). Serena Smith,, 12 Apr. 2021 In Chicago, being fully vaccinated is the only way to skirt the city’s emergency travel order requirement of a quarantine or negative COVID-19 test result from certain states, although it is not widely enforced. Lisa Donovan,, 29 Apr. 2021 John Campbell and Asimov saw this warping as a way to skirt the speed limit. Mario Borunda, The Conversation, 23 Apr. 2021 Brian Kelly repurposed a defensive analyst position to skirt a hiring freeze and used that to add Chad Bowden to the recruiting staff. Eric Hansen, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Apr. 2021

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

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Skirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on skirt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skirt

Nglish: Translation of skirt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skirt for Arabic Speakers


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