A skirmish over the rules before the debate began.
When two people have a brief argument, this is an example of a skirmish.
When you get involved in a little fight, this is an example of a time when you skirmish.
Origin of skirmish
- 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 sker-1 in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Old French escarmouche (“skirmish"), from Italian scaramuccia, earlier schermugio.