- The definition of a skirmish is a short argument or brief period of fighting.
When two people have a brief argument, this is an example of a skirmish.
- Skirmish is to get involved in a short little argument or fight.
When you get involved in a little fight, this is an example of a time when you skirmish.
- a brief fight or encounter between small groups, usually an incident of a battle
- any slight, unimportant conflict; brush
Origin of skirmishMiddle English scarmoch ; from Middle French escharmuche ; from Italian scaramuccia ; from schermire, to fight ; from Germanic as in Old High German an unverified form skirmjan, to protect ; from skirm, a guard: see screen
Origin of skirmishME scarmishen
- A minor battle in war, as one between small forces or between large forces avoiding direct conflict.
- A minor or preliminary conflict or dispute: a skirmish over the rules before the debate began.
intransitive verbskir·mished, skir·mish·ing, skir·mish·es
Origin of skirmishMiddle English skirmisshe, alteration (influenced by Middle English skirmisshen, to brandish a weapon) of skarmush, from Old French eskarmouch, from Old Italian scaramuccia, of Germanic origin; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present skirmishes, present participle skirmishing, simple past and past participle skirmished)
- To engage in a minor battle or dispute
From Old French escarmouche (“skirmish"), from Italian scaramuccia, earlier schermugio.