\ 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 More than a dozen people — an older man in smart ankle-high walking shoes, a woman in layers of billowing skirts — stood behind him, waiting for hot pancakes, home fries and eggs. Washington Post, "24 hours inside the lives upended by coronavirus in the nation’s capital," 2 Apr. 2020 McKenna used Pierre Frey fabric to add an old-school skirt to the Whitehaus Collection sink. Alexandra Morris, House Beautiful, "How a Designer Revived a Seaside Home With Pattern, Pattern and More Pattern," 30 Mar. 2020 Reviewers liked the length of this skirt as well as its comfy material. Madison Durham, USA TODAY, "20 great things you can get at Lands' End under $50," 27 Mar. 2020 The group cancellations may have more to do with companies wanting to avoid air travel and skirt liability for their employees than with a perception that Napa Valley is an unsafe place to be. Esther Mobley,, "That Napa Valley winery corporate retreat? In the age of the coronavirus, forget it," 12 Mar. 2020 There was the usual bouclé, mostly in knee-length skirt suits and coats in citrine and watermelon. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "From Plagues to Floods to Black Tuesday, Fashion Goes On," 4 Mar. 2020 Chanel was one of the first designers to use jersey fabric in fashionable day wear—dresses and suits and pleated skirts—that moved the dial away from restrictive corsets and useless frills. Time, "1924: Coco Chanel," 5 Mar. 2020 Conventional blockchain networks like bitcoin skirt these rules because there's no one for authorities to punish if the bitcoin network fails to comply. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Facebook denies reports it is backing away from Libra cryptocurrency," 3 Mar. 2020 Some historic-looking puff skirts with layers in gold gave certain looks a period air, as did bejeweled and embroidered jackets with a semi-circular lapel the historic musing was scant. Thomas Adamson, Fortune, "Paris Fashion Week showcases the latest in clothing—and face masks," 3 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And to deny there’s anything unusual about them is to skirt the issue. Author: Aaron Blake, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Winners and losers from the Democratic debate in Las Vegas," 20 Feb. 2020 That's because this new privacy act in California means other states will be unable to completely skirt the rules. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How California's New Consumer Privacy Act Affects You," 18 Feb. 2020 In August 2018 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began sending letters to more than 60 grantee institutions about nearly 200 individuals NIH believed had skirted its rules. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Moffitt Cancer Center details links of fired scientists to Chinese talent programs," 19 Jan. 2020 Rather than presenting a united front against a violator of international trading rules, the United States began skirting those rules itself. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "Trump Administration Missteps Weaken U.S. Hand Entering Chinese Trade Negotiations," 9 Oct. 2019 Space Jam’ Forever: The Website That Wouldn’t Die (Rolling Stone) How a ragtag group of young coders skirted the studio and created a pop culture sensation that’s still standing two decades later. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "What it’s like working for Elon Musk," 13 Mar. 2020 Some waters were simply marked off limits, so people didn’t fish there or were blocked by fences. Boaters floating down rivers with barbed wire fences strewn across got used to using their oars to lift up the wires, skirting underneath. Christine Peterson, Outdoor Life, "Lawyers, Trout, and Money—The Crazy Story Behind the Water Access Battle in New Mexico," 13 Mar. 2020 Our route would take us to Cincinnati for the night, then down through Kentucky and into Tennessee, skirting west of Knoxville before ending up in Asheville, North Carolina. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "1,200 uncomfortable miles in a gorgeous Acura NSX hybrid supercar," 12 Mar. 2020 Putin is on his fourth presidential term, having already skirted the two-term limit in Russia’s constitution once by passing the presidency temporarily to his protégé Dmitry Medvedev between 2008 and 2012. Patrick Reevell, ABC News, "Russia's parliament opens way for Putin to stay in power beyond 2024," 10 Mar. 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

6 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Skirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 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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