\ 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 The cartoon depicted Erdogan in his underwear holding a drink and lifting the skirt of a woman wearing an Islamic dress. Fox News, "Charlie Hebdo cartoon mocking Turkish leader Erdogan sparks furor," 28 Oct. 2020 After the skirt was completed, the bodice and neckline were next. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Laverne Cox’s Kanekalon Hair Dress Has Our Jaws on the Floor," 27 Oct. 2020 The snakeskin Ronny Kobo mini skirt that Cooper wore in the premiere also saw a 22% increase in interest for the brand on Lyst. Eliza Huber,, "Berets, Bucket Hats & More Are Trending Thanks To Emily In Paris," 14 Oct. 2020 There is something so satisfying about the skirt with its super sharp pleats. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Irina Shayk Wears the Most Satisfying Skirt of Fall," 14 Oct. 2020 Any type of quick-cooking steak can be used (skirt, flank, strip). Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Savor these steak cubes glazed with garlicky sauce," 2 Nov. 2020 On Corrin: Chanel jacket ($5,350), top ($4,600), skirt ($2,750), belt ($2,800), earrings ($850), and necklace ($1,425); Chanel Fine Jewelry bracelet; try Dior liquid mono eyeshadow in mauve ($30) and rouge Dior Ultra Care in rosewood ($38). Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "A Royally Candid Interview with The Crown's Emma Corrin, Josh O'Connor, and Emerald Fennell," 21 Oct. 2020 For her latest Instagram post, the Kylie Cosmetics founder wore Kim Shui's cut-out sleeve tie top in a tropical print, and a matching skirt, per @kyliejennercloset. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Wears a Cut-Out Top and Matching Mini Skirt as She Calls Herself "the Boss"," 10 Oct. 2020 For the high-class, there were ecru and black tweed skirt suits -- the house signature. Thomas Adamson, Star Tribune, "Chanel celebrates cinema industry to cap Paris Fashion Week," 6 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To his amusement, Shea even discovered that a Civil War–era emergency law enabling cavalry on the Western plains to buy forage for their horses had been used to skirt Congress in financing the war in Vietnam. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's Magazine, "The Enemies Briefcase," 27 Oct. 2020 Be careful, though, as the rocks that skirt the road are seemingly more slippery than those midstream. Matt Wyatt,, "Trout streams reveal the splendor of North Georgia," 15 Oct. 2020 But portfolio managers still see plenty of opportunities that should skirt any major headwinds in either space. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "10 stocks to buy now: These names should perform well no matter who wins the White House," 11 Oct. 2020 The adventures start small and skirt the edges of believability within the world of the film, but hey, this is a kind of modern folklore, a little hero’s journey. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Lessons of self-acceptance in ‘The True Adventures of Wolfboy’," 28 Oct. 2020 The unholy alliance Senator Inhofe has forged between the agency, the state, and oil drillers is designed to skirt tribal sovereignty. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "How the EPA Is Screwing Oklahoma’s Tribes," 6 Oct. 2020 Critics, however, contend the unregulated devices, which operate in cities like Chicago that have banned video gambling, are designed to skirt the law. Jason Meisner,, "Berrios son-in-law indicted in bribery scheme involving ex-state Rep. Luis Arroyo," 2 Oct. 2020 Without the restrictions, Becerra said, ghost gun purchasers will continue to skirt federal and state rules. Chronicle News Services,, "News of the Day From Across the Nation," 1 Oct. 2020 The proposals were seen by investors and budget experts as a way to skirt a constitutional cap that limits the growth of public expenses, as well as an accounting trick to find budget room by delaying other payments. Martha Viotti Beck,, "Bolsonaro Says Brazil Needs Social Plan to Avoid Unrest," 29 Sep. 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

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Skirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 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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