Dictionary.com

skirmish

[ skur-mish ]
/ ˈskɜr mɪʃ /
Save This Word!

noun
Military. a fight between small bodies of troops, especially advanced or outlying detachments of opposing armies.
any brisk conflict or encounter: She had a skirmish with her landlord about the rent.
verb (used without object)
to engage in a skirmish.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of skirmish

1300–50; (noun) Middle English skirmysshe<Old French eskirmiss-, long stem of eskirmir<Germanic (compare Old High German skirman); replacing Middle English scarmouche<Old French escaramoucher (see Scaramouch); (v.) late Middle English scarmuchen, scarmusshen to skirmish, Middle English skirmisshen to brandish a weapon <Old French escar(a)mucher to skirmish; vowels influenced by Old French eskirmiss-

synonym study for skirmish

1. See battle1.

OTHER WORDS FROM skirmish

skir·mish·er, nounoutskirmish, verb (used with object)

Words nearby skirmish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use skirmish in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for skirmish

skirmish
/ (ˈskɜːmɪʃ) /

noun
a minor short-lived military engagement
any brisk clash or encounter, usually of a minor nature
verb
(intr often foll by with) to engage in a skirmish

Derived forms of skirmish

skirmisher, noun

Word Origin for skirmish

C14: from Old French eskirmir, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German skirmen to defend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
FEEDBACK