Definition of skirt in English:

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Pronunciation: /skərt/


1A woman’s outer garment fastened around the waist and hanging down around the legs.
Example sentences
  • After a swim, put on the wrap skirt over your bikini or swim suit, and go for a drink.
  • She was wearing a knee-length dark blue jean skirt with a front slit and a blue backless top.
  • Damien felt himself staring, she was wearing a short pleated denim skirt and her bikini.
1.1The part of a coat or dress that hangs below the waist.
Example sentences
  • Amy adjusted Sara's coat over the skirt of her blue dress before turning for the scarf.
  • Her cerise dress had narrow skirts and large, puffed sleeves.
  • Amelia wore pretty dresses with full skirts and small waists with short jackets and fanned pumps.
1.2 informal A woman or women regarded as objects of sexual desire: so, Al, off to chase some skirt?
More example sentences
  • He was here, with her this very instant, and he wasn't leaving to go chase some skirt.
  • He was chasing skirt and snorting booze, hoovering up every kind of sin and excess he could lay his gauntlets on.
  • No, he was a skirt chaser of the worse kind.
1.3The curtain that hangs around the base of a hovercraft to contain the air cushion.
1.4A surface that conceals or protects the wheels or underside of a vehicle or aircraft.
Example sentences
  • Sprung armour side skirts protect the wheels and tracks.
  • On the outside the 888 has new wheel arches, side skirts, chassis and an odd-looking rear spoiler.
  • Side skirts and new alloy wheels complete the changes.
1.5A small flap on a saddle, covering the bar from which the stirrup leather hangs.
Example sentences
  • I pulled myself slowly into the saddle, arranging the skirts carefully.
  • If the saddle or the blanket is too long at the skirt it too may be rubbing her at the hip bone area.
1.6 archaic An edge, border, or extreme part. Compare with outskirts.


[with object]
1Go around or past the edge of: he did not go through the city but skirted it
More example sentences
  • If you are walking, you can skirt round the edge of the crag and follow some steps to rejoin the path.
  • Kook stood up and skirted the round table till he came to the small black oven that stood behind Taterra.
  • He did not have the time to skirt round all the walls looking for a way out.
go around, walk around, circle
1.1Be situated along or around the edge of: the fields that skirted the highway were full of cattle
More example sentences
  • Along the scenic route skirting the rim we stopped at every lookout to gaze at the fantastic scenery.
  • We also leased horses and went along a shaded path skirted by a stream.
  • One field skirted the edge of a primary school, which was fenced off with barbed wire and guard posts.
border, edge, flank, line, lie alongside
1.2 [no object] (skirt along/around) Go along or around (something) rather than directly through or across it: the river valley skirts along the northern slopes of the hills
More example sentences
  • I went out of my way to walk right through a puddle, rather than skirt around it.
  • Soon they were skirting along the coast towards Louisburgh as bonfires blazed along the road.
  • But the solution does not lie in skirting around the edges of the problem, but rather, diving directly in.
1.3Attempt to ignore; avoid dealing with: there was a subject she was always skirting [no object]: the treaty skirted around the question of political cooperation
More example sentences
  • The bill was drafted in an attempt to skirt constitutional concerns.
  • He skirts the road-legality issue by informing customers that his bikes are sold for recreation, not transportation.
  • Media coverage of hot-button issues usually skirts this aspect of them.
avoid, evade, sidestep, dodge, pass over, gloss over
informal duck


Middle English: from Old Norse skyrta 'shirt'; compare with synonymous Old English scyrte, also with short. The verb dates from the early 17th century.

  • shirt from Old English:

    The garments shirt and skirt (Middle English) share an ancient root, which is also that of short, the basic sense probably being ‘short garment’. The idea behind shirty (mid 19th century), ‘bad-tempered or annoyed’, is the same as that behind keep your shirt on, ‘don't lose your temper, stay calm’. The offended or riled person is about to take his shirt off ready for a fight. In lose your shirt or put your shirt on the shirt is seen as the very last possession that you could use to bet with.

Words that rhyme with skirt

advert, alert, animadvert, assert, avert, Bert, blurt, Burt, cert, chert, concert, controvert, convert, curt, desert, dessert, dirt, divert, exert, flirt, girt, hurt, inert, insert, introvert, Kurt, malapert, overt, pert, quirt, shirt, spirt, spurt, squirt, Sturt, subvert, vert, wort, yurt

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: skirt

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