\ 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

Reuben Reuel, the pioneering creator of DEMESTIK, made sure that his models walked the runway in the most colorful prints and patterns—including blouses, skirts, and dresses from the brand’s new collection. Ashley Rushford, Essence, "DEMESTIK Brightened Up The Runway At Essence Fashion House," 7 July 2019 Costumes and cumbia music But perhaps their most eye-catching quality is the pollera skirt, a knee-length garment made by extensive pleating of sparkling fabric and further puffed by multiple petticoats beneath. Nell Haynes, The Conversation, "How indigenous women revolutionized Bolivian wrestling," 5 July 2019 Witherspoon rocks a gold, sequined top with a matching hot pink sweatsuit, while Kravitz shows lots of leg in a pink skirt and an off-white macrame top. Joelle Goldstein,, "Reese Witherspoon Snuggles Up to Zoë Kravitz in Sweet Photo Following Costar's Wedding in Paris," 2 July 2019 An extremely grainy paparazzi photo taken from high above the ground appears to show Sophie Turner wearing a white gown with sleeves and a voluminous skirt, as well as a veil on hair that appears to be left down. Marci Robin, Allure, "Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Got Married at Formal Wedding Ceremony in France," 30 June 2019 Lyrics filter out from El Comal de Rina, where women in ankle-length skirts — the outfit of the majority of the women of La Luz del Mundo — prepare quesadillas and gorditas to sell. Brittny Mejia,, "Sex crime case renews tension in Mexico between Catholics and evangelical church," 27 June 2019 There was no one [like me] walking through the projects in skirts and dresses. Rachel Lubitz,, "I'm Tired Of Being Asked, “Are You A Boy Or A Girl?"," 15 June 2019 Pencil in some time for this adorable, comfortable pencil skirt. Brittany Loggins, NBC News, "11 perfect outfits for your summer job interview (that won't break the bank!)," 20 June 2019 The country singer showed up to the event in his usual blazer-and-trousers combo, while his wife wore a pink satin top with matching heels, an animal-print skirt, and a brown belt. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Thomas Rhett Clapped Back at Online Trolls Who Criticized His Wife Lauren Akins," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The metal skirting around the mobile home buckled and the metal jacks came up through the floor, causing the home to fall about a foot. Brian Rokos, The Mercury News, "Frazzled nerves keep families awake in Ridgecrest, where the earthquakes got larger, not smaller," 6 July 2019 Some want to see change, others balk at the idea and some want to skirt the conversation all together. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "Arm teachers? Require gun training? Here’s where Idaho governor candidates stand | Idaho Statesman," 7 Apr. 2018 But the senator wants to know whether the NRA tried to skirt those restrictions by using foreign money to cover nonpolitical expenses, thus freeing other money for political purposes. Tribune News Service,, "Senator presses NRA to divulge foreign donations and how they were spent," 27 Mar. 2018 Up until now, Apple has more or less skirted around the Trump administration’s tariffs, despite its heavy reliance on Chinese manufacturing. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Apple says incoming China tariffs would be disastrous for business," 20 June 2019 And, says Mr Castilloux, the industry is small enough for China to be able to spot any American attempts to skirt a Chinese ban by importing magnets through other countries. The Economist, "Rare earths give China leverage in the trade war, at a cost," 15 June 2019 Sitting in a wheelchair near where world leaders will speak on Thursday, Mills mostly skirted questions about Trump’s presidency. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "'We changed the world': Now in their 90s, WWII veterans gather in Normandy for D-Day anniversary," 6 June 2019 According to the prosecutors, Mr. Wu instructed employees to falsify financial statements and marketing information in an attempt to skirt regulations and raise money from the public. New York Times, "With Jail Sentences and Corporate Flameouts, China Is Tackling Its Debt," 10 May 2018 Netflix’s attempt to skirt the law angered some members of the French film industry. Allyson Chiu, Washington Post, "Cannes Film Festival bans Netflix films from competition. Also, no more selfies.," 26 Mar. 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

14 Jul 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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