skir|mish [ˈskə:mıʃ US ˈskə:r-] n
[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: escaramouche, from Old Italian scaramuccia]
1.) a fight between small groups of soldiers, ships etc, especially one that happens away from the main part of a battle - used in news reports
skirmish with/between/over
The young soldier was killed in a skirmish with government troops.
2.) a short argument, especially between political or sports opponents
skirmish with/between/over
Bates was sent off after a skirmish with the referee.
a budget skirmish between the President and Congress
>skirmish v [I]
They skirmished briefly with soldiers from Fort Benton.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • Skirmish — Skir mish, n.[OE. scarmishe, scrymishe. See {Skirmish}, v. i.] 1. A slight fight in war; a light or desultory combat between detachments from armies, or between detached and small bodies of troops. [1913 Webster] 2. A slight contest. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Skirmish — Skir mish, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Skirmished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Skirmishing}.] [OE. skirmishen, scarmishen, OF. escremir, eskermir, to fence, fight, F. escrimer, of German origin; cf. OHG. scirmen to protect, defend, G. schirmen, OHG. scirm, scerm …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • skirmish — [n] fight altercation, argument, battle, bout, brawl, brush, clash, combat, conflict, confrontation, disagreement, dispute, encounter, engagement, feud, fisticuffs*, fracas, fray, melee, quarrel, row, ruckus, rumble, run in*, scrap*, scuffle,… …   New thesaurus

  • skirmish — ► NOUN ▪ an episode of irregular or unpremeditated fighting. ► VERB ▪ engage in a skirmish. DERIVATIVES skirmisher noun. ORIGIN from Old French eskirmir, from a Germanic verb meaning defend …   English terms dictionary

  • skirmish — [skʉr′mish] n. [ME scarmoch < MFr escharmuche < It scaramuccia < schermire, to fight < Gmc, as in OHG * skirmjan, to protect < skirm, a guard: see SCREEN] 1. a brief fight or encounter between small groups, usually an incident of a …   English World dictionary

  • skirmish — index affray, collision (dispute), commotion, confront (oppose), confrontation (altercation) …   Law dictionary

  • skirmish — n *encounter, brush Analogous words: *contest, conflict, combat, fight, affray, fray: engagement, action, *battle …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • skirmish — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ brief, little, minor, small ▪ border ▪ early, first, opening ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • skirmish — I UK [ˈskɜː(r)mɪʃ] / US [ˈskɜrmɪʃ] noun [countable] Word forms skirmish : singular skirmish plural skirmishes 1) a fight, especially one that is away from the main fighting in a war An officer was killed in a skirmish with guerillas. 2) an… …   English dictionary

  • skirmish — I n. 1) a border; minor skirmish 2) a skirmish between; with II v. (D; intr.) to skirmish with * * * [ skɜːmɪʃ] minor skirmish with (D; intr.) to skirmish with a border a skirmishbetween …   Combinatory dictionary

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