WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
skir•mish /ˈskɜrmɪʃ/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Militarya fight between small bodies of troops.
  2. any brisk and usually quick argument:The opposing candidates had quite a few skirmishes during the election year.

v. [no object]
  1. to be or fight in a skirmish:troops skirmishing before the main battle.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
skir•mish  (skûrmish),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Militarya fight between small bodies of troops, esp. advanced or outlying detachments of opposing armies.
  2. any brisk conflict or encounter:She had a skirmish with her landlord about the rent.

  1. to engage in a skirmish.
skirmish•er, n. 
  • Old French escar(a)mucher to skirmish; vowels influenced by Old French eskirmiss-
  • Old French escaramoucher (see Scaramouch); (verb, verbal) late Middle English scarmuchen, scarmusshen to skirmish, Middle English skirmisshen to brandish a weapon
  • Gmc (compare Old High German skirman); replacing Middle English scarmouche
  • Old French eskirmiss-, long stem of eskirmir
  • (noun, nominal) Middle English skirmysshe 1300–50
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged combat, brush. See  battle 1.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

skirmish /ˈskɜːmɪʃ/ n
  1. a minor short-lived military engagement
  2. any brisk clash or encounter, usually of a minor nature
  1. (intransitive) often followed by with: to engage in a skirmish
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French eskirmir, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German skirmen to defend

ˈskirmisher n

'skirmish' also found in these entries:

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