skirmish

[ skur-mish ]
/ ˈskɜr mɪʃ /

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.

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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-

SYNONYMS FOR skirmish

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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for skirmish

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