verb (used without object)
Origin of skirmish
Examples from the Web for skirmish
And earlier that day, the 43-year-old had earned the précis, breaking up a skirmish by the Staten Island Ferry.Before Eric Garner, There Was Michael Stewart: The Tragic Story of the Real-Life Radio Raheem|Marlow Stern|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As we hear in Mark 15:7, he was apparently an insurrectionist, an anti-Roman revolutionary, and had killed someone in a skirmish.The Barabbas Theory of Voting: Bible Story Shows Tough Choices for Midterms|Jay Parini|November 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A half-an-hour earlier they had been caught in the middle of a mortar barrage in a skirmish with separatists.
That is a high death toll for Hezbollah in a skirmish inside Lebanon on its home territory.
The first skirmish in the renewed battle for gender wage equality seemed to be won by Republicans.Obama Is Nudging the White House Toward Gender Pay Equity|Brandy Zadrozny|April 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
"It must have been a skirmish," replied Dan, glancing down the slope.The Battle Ground|Ellen Glasgow
I assisted him, riding my sorrel pony, the only horse on the skirmish line, as all the men fought dismounted.Three Years in the Federal Cavalry|Willard Glazier
If left, instead of right is given that simply means that the leading or base squad is to be the left of the skirmish line.The Plattsburg Manual|O.O. Ellis and E.B. Garey
Vinegar Hill in the immediate vicinity was the scene of a skirmish in 1798, when the town was stormed and burned by the rebels.The New Gresham Encyclopedia|Various
The Indians charged down the valley in large force, close up to the skirmish line, but failed to make any impression.Eleven Years in the Rocky Mountains and Life on the Frontier|Frances Fuller Victor
Word Origin for skirmish
late 14c., from Old French escarmouche "skirmish," from Italian scaramuccia, earlier schermugio, probably from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German skirmen "to protect, defend"), with a diminutive or depreciatory suffix, from Proto-Germanic *skerm-, from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear).
Influenced in Middle English by a separate verb skirmysshen "to brandish a weapon," from Old French eskirmiss-, stem of eskirmir "to fence," from Frankish *skirmjan, from the same Germanic source. Cf. also scrimmage. Other modern Germanic forms have an additional diminutive affix: German scharmützel, Dutch schermutseling, Danish skjærmydsel. Skirmish-line attested by 1864.
c.1200, from Old French escarmouchier, from Italian scaramucciare (see skirmish (n.)). Related: Skirmished; skirmishing.