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1. A minor battle in war, as one between small forces or between large forces avoiding direct conflict.
2. A minor or preliminary conflict or dispute: a skirmish over the rules before the debate began.
intr.v. skir·mished, skir·mish·ing, skir·mish·es
To engage in a minor battle or dispute.
[Middle English skirmisshe, alteration (influenced by Middle English skirmisshen, to brandish a weapon) of skarmush, from Old French eskarmouch, from Old Italian scaramuccia, of Germanic origin; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]
1. (Military) a minor short-lived military engagement
2. any brisk clash or encounter, usually of a minor nature
(often foll by: with) to engage in a skirmish
[C14: from Old French eskirmir, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German skirmen to defend]
1. a fight between small bodies of troops.
2. any brisk conflict or encounter.v.i.
3. to engage in a skirmish.
[1300–50 < Old French eskirmiss-, s. of eskirmir < Frankish; compare Old High German skirman to defend]
Past participle: skirmished
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|Noun||1.||skirmish - a minor short-term fight |
contretemps - an awkward clash; "he tried to smooth over his contretemps with the policeman"
|Verb||1.||skirmish - engage in a skirmish|
1. fight, battle, conflict, incident, clash, contest, set-to (informal), encounter, brush, combat, scrap (informal), engagement, spat, tussle, fracas, affray (Law), dust-up (informal), scrimmage Border skirmishes are common.