- 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.
skirmish definition by Webster's New World
- a brief fight or encounter between small groups, usually an incident of a battle
- any slight, unimportant conflict; brush
Origin: Middle 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: ME scarmishen
- skirmisher noun
skirmish definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- 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.
Origin: Middle 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.
- skirˈmish·er noun