- 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 killedMore 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.
- 1.1A short argument: there was a skirmish over the budgetMore example sentences
argument, quarrel, squabble, contretemps, disagreement, difference of opinion, dissension, falling-out, dispute, disputation, contention, clash, altercation, exchange, war of words; Irish , North American , & Australian donnybrookBritish • informal , Football aftersScottish • informal rammyScottish • archaic threap, collieshangie
- 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.
verb[no object] (often as noun skirmishing) Back to top
- Engage in a skirmish: reports of skirmishing along the borderMore 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.
- 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.
Middle English (as a verb): from Old French eskirmiss-, lengthened stem of eskirmir, from a Germanic verb meaning 'defend'.