- 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 Gmc, 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.