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skirmish

Syllabification: skir·mish
Pronunciation: /ˈskərmiSH
 
/

Definition of skirmish in English:

noun

1An episode of irregular or unpremeditated fighting, especially between small or outlying parts of armies or fleets.
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

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, engage with, close with, combat, clash with

Origin

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

Derivatives

skirmisher

1
noun
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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