Definition of skirmish in English:

skirmish

Line breaks: skir|mish
Pronunciation: /ˈskəːmɪʃ
 
/

noun

1An episode of irregular or unpremeditated fighting, especially between small or outlying parts of armies or fleets: the unit was caught in several skirmishes and the commanding officer was killed
More example sentences
  • The key now is to tune out the ‘white noise’ and stop fighting the daily skirmishes of the last war.
  • Commissioned a lieutenant colonel in 1754, he fought the first skirmishes of what grew into the French and Indian War.
  • Whites fought frequent wars and skirmishes through the later nineteenth century as they pushed into Native Americans' lands.
Synonyms
1.1A short argument: there was a skirmish over the budget
More example sentences
  • Once in a while, there's a short skirmish and someone dies, but it's all dull and uninspired.
  • Yesterday there was a short skirmish in the woods outside the town of Nyda.
  • None of them bothered to change out of their street clothes, expecting a short skirmish only.
Synonyms
argument, quarrel, squabble, contretemps, disagreement, difference of opinion, dissension, falling-out, dispute, disputation, contention, clash, altercation, exchange, war of words; Irish, North American, & Australiandonnybrook
informal tiff, set-to, run-in, spat, dust-up
British informal row, barney, ding-dong, bust-up, bit of argy-bargy, ruck
British informal , Footballafters
Scottish informal rammy
archaic broil, miff
Scottish archaic threap, collieshangie

verb

[no object] (often as noun skirmishing) Back to top  
Engage in a skirmish: reports of skirmishing along the border
More example sentences
  • But they can expect little sympathy from the anti-globalisation protesters, already skirmishing yesterday with the police in south-west France.
  • At age 15, he was travelling Italy with Lazio's infamous Irriducibili hooligans, skirmishing with police and opposing supporters.
  • She leaves the frame, and one of the boys is skirmishing with a football.
Synonyms
fight, do battle with, battle with, engage with, close with, combat, clash with, come to blows with, exchange blows with, struggle with, tussle with
informal scrap with

Origin

Middle English (as a verb): from Old French eskirmiss-, lengthened stem of eskirmir, from a Germanic verb meaning 'defend'.

Derivatives

skirmisher

noun
More example sentences
  • In several little fields were knots of skirmishers.
  • Quickly following Miller in the charge came the infantrymen and Winters's dismounted cavalry moving as skirmishers.
  • In an earlier time, they would have been called skirmishers.

Definition of skirmish in:

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Pronunciation: əbˈdʒʊə
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solemnly renounce (a belief, cause, or claim)