Definition of skirmish noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈskɜːmɪʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈskɜːrmɪʃ//
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  1. 1a short fight between small groups of soldiers, etc., especially one that is not planned Several people were killed in skirmishes during the night.
  2. 2a short argument, especially between political opponents a skirmish between the two party leaders
  3. Word OriginMiddle English (as a verb): from Old French eskirmiss-, lengthened stem of eskirmir, from a Germanic verb meaning ‘defend’.Extra examples Minor skirmishes broke out all along the border. They were involved in a skirmish with rival fans. a skirmish over boundaries an opening skirmish in the protracted media battle ahead skirmishes between the police and guerillas There was a short skirmish between party leaders when the government announced the new tax increases.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: skirmish

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