\ 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

While George suited up, Amal looked stunning in separates from Giambattista Valli, wearing an embellished skirt and shirt combo. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Amal Clooney Made a Rare, Romantic Red Carpet Appearance With Husband George," 14 May 2019 Lili donned a pale blue gown with oversized gathered ruffles along the bodice, complimented by a short skirt and loooong train. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "The "Riverdale" Cast Walked the Met Gala 2019 Red Carpet," 7 May 2019 Her outfits typically consist of black and white skirts or dresses, as well as the occasional pant, paired with jewelry in the same palette and statement shoes—like, heeled boots decorated with fire flames. Glamour, "Diane Keaton Is My Favorite Instagram Fashion Influencer," 24 Apr. 2019 Wearing a long skirt and a crop top to prom is a fun, unique idea—and that’s exactly why an Aquarius will be all about this outfit. Alanna Greco, Seventeen, "Exactly What to Wear to Prom, According to Your Sign," 11 Mar. 2019 Even office wear wasn’t immune: Glimmering spangles covered pencil skirts and blazers alike. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Jenna Lyons, the former powerhouse behind J.Crew, finally announced her next move," 9 Oct. 2018 Low-side skirts and oversized air intake slots are two noticeable features; the exaggerated roof spoiler is another. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Camper vans get a race car makeover," 17 Aug. 2018 Just last month, Holmes stepped out of her comfort zone in a similar fashion, taking to Instagram to show a patent midi skirt and seriously high nude stilettos combo. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Katie Holmes Wore Slick Leather-on-Leather for the Chanel Dinner in New York," 30 Apr. 2019 But then my fitter added a full skirt and my face completely changed. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Epic Lake Como Wedding Had It All: An Alta Moda Photoshoot, Fireworks, and a Surprise Opera," 11 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beyond this, the fashion world is just one of the many industries known for skirting around mental health issues. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "The New Lazy Oafs Collection Is Raising Awareness About Mental Health," 15 May 2019 The church cannot use Indiana religious freedom laws to skirt state and federal laws banning marijuana, Marion County Superior Court Judge Sheryl Lynch ruled on Friday, the Indianapolis Star reported. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "First Church of Cannabis says pot is a holy sacrament, but court ruling is a buzzkill," 10 July 2018 The new bypass will realign Grass Lake and Millburn roads into a traditional four-way intersection and allow Route 45 drivers to skirt around the Millburn Historic District. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Lake County gears up for $100 million construction season with big projects planned for Long Grove, Buffalo Grove," 6 Apr. 2018 Both these books, though, skirt around that danger. The Economist, "Creative sparkWhat makes humans inventive?," 11 Jan. 2018 While Urban Decay also has the Naked Heat and Naked3 palettes, which skirt around the red family, Naked Cherry holds its own. Glamour, "Urban Decay’s Naked Cherry Palette Is the Best of All the Nakeds," 3 Apr. 2019 The Jammu and Kashmir state government, led by chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti has staunchly denied accusations that proper procedures have been skirted during the investigation. Steve George, CNN, "Murder and rape of 8-year-old inflames religious tensions in northern India," 13 Apr. 2018 Over the past decade, a number of large auto companies have taken significant financial hits from fuel-economy and emissions controversies, after either inflating their mileage ratings or intentionally skirting laws governing tailpipe pollution. Mike Colias, WSJ, "Ford Investigating Its Emissions Testing After Employees Raised Concerns," 21 Feb. 2019 On a mock-up rendering of the flight, the plane traverses the U.S. eastern seaboard before skirting the Arctic Circle's edge and descending into Greek and eventually Turkish airspace. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 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

19 May 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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