[ skur-mish ]
/ ˈskɜr mɪʃ /


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.

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.


skir·mish·er, noun out·skir·mish, verb (used with object)

Words nearby skirmish

Example sentences from the Web for skirmish

British Dictionary definitions for skirmish

/ (ˈskɜːmɪʃ) /


a minor short-lived military engagement
any brisk clash or encounter, usually of a minor nature


(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