See more synonyms for skirt on
  1. the part of a gown, dress, slip, or coat that extends downward from the waist.
  2. a one-piece garment extending downward from the waist and not joined between the legs, worn especially by women and girls.
  3. some part resembling or suggesting the skirt of a garment, as the flared lip of a bell or a protective and ornamental cloth strip covering the legs of furniture.
  4. a small leather flap on each side of a saddle, covering the metal bar from which the stirrup hangs.
  5. Building Trades.
    1. baseboard(def 1).
    2. apron(def 13).
  6. Also called apron. Furniture.
    1. a flat horizontal brace set immediately beneath the seat of a chair, chest of drawers, or the like, to strengthen the legs.
    2. Also called bed, frieze..a flat brace or support immediately beneath a tabletop.
  7. Usually skirts. the bordering, marginal, or outlying part of a place, group, etc.; the outskirts.
  8. Older Slang: Usually Disparaging and Offensive. a term used to refer to a woman or girl: to chase some skirt; a skirt chaser.
  9. Rocketry. an outer part of a rocket or missile that provides structural support or houses such systems as avionics or gyroscopes.
verb (used with object)
  1. to lie on or along the border of: The hills skirt the town.
  2. to border, wrap, or cover with a skirt or something suggesting a skirt in appearance or function.
  3. to pass along or around the border or edge of: Traffic skirts the town.
  4. to avoid, go around the edge of, or keep distant from (something that is controversial, risky, etc.): The senator skirted the issue.
  5. to remove low-grade wool and foreign matter from (the outer edge of fleece).
verb (used without object)
  1. to be or lie on or along the edge of something.
  2. to move along or around the border of something.

Origin of skirt

1250–1300; Middle English skirte < Old Norse skyrta shirt
Related formsskirt·less, adjectiveskirt·like, adjectiveun·skirt·ed, adjective

Synonyms for skirt

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for skirt

Contemporary Examples of skirt

Historical Examples of skirt

  • The dress was of silky changeable tricolette, the skirt plain.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Some roses grew behind the hollyhocks, and her skirt was caught.

  • The skirt was long enough to tuck around her baby's feet when she carried it.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • "Yes," said Lucindy, smiling, and plaiting her skirt between her nervous fingers.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • She was paying minute attention to the lace insertion of her skirt.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for skirt


  1. a garment hanging from the waist, worn chiefly by women and girls
  2. the part of a dress below the waist
  3. Also called: apron a frieze or circular flap, as round the base of a hovercraft
  4. the flaps on a saddle that protect a rider's legs
  5. British a cut of beef from the flank
  6. (often plural) a margin or outlying area
  7. NZ the lower part of a sheep's fleece
  8. bit of skirt slang a girl or woman
  1. (tr) to form the edge of
  2. (tr) to provide with a border
  3. (when intr, foll by around, along, etc) to pass (by) or be situated (near) the outer edge of (an area, etc)
  4. (tr) to avoid (a difficulty, etc)he skirted the issue
  5. mainly Australian and NZ to remove the trimmings or inferior wool from (a fleece)
Derived Formsskirted, adjective

Word Origin for skirt

C13: from Old Norse skyrta shirt
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

Word Origin and History for skirt

early 14c., "lower part of a woman's dress," from Old Norse skyrta "shirt, a kind of kirtle;" see shirt. Sense development from "shirt" to "skirt" is possibly related to the long shirts of peasant garb (cf. Low German cognate Schört, in some dialects "woman's gown"). Sense of "border, edge" (in outskirts, etc.) first recorded late 15c. Metonymic use for "women collectively" is from 1550s; slang sense of "young woman" is from 1906; skirt-chaser first attested 1942.


c.1600, "to border, form the edge of," from skirt (n.). Meaning "to pass along the edge" is from 1620s. Related: Skirted; skirting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper