from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Football The contest between two teams from the time the ball is snapped until it is declared dead.
  • n. Sports A practice session or informal game, as between two units of the same team.
  • n. A rough-and-tumble struggle; a tussle.
  • n. A skirmish.
  • intransitive v. Sports To engage in a scrimmage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rough fight.
  • n. In some team sports, especially soccer, a practice game which does not count on a team's record.
  • n. In American football or Canadian football, a play that begins with a snap from the center while opposing teams are on either side of a line of scrimmage.
  • v. To have, or be involved in, a scrimmage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Formerly, a skirmish; now, a general row or confused fight or struggle.
  • n. The struggle in the rush lines after the ball is put in play.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A skirmish; a confused row or contest; a tussle.
  • n. Specifically, in foot-ball:
  • n. A confused, close struggle round the ball.
  • n. The act on the part of the two contesting teams of forming in opposing lines, and putting the ball in play.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a noisy riotous fight
  • n. (American football) practice play between a football team's squads
  • v. practice playing (a sport)


Middle English, alteration of skirmisshe, scrimish; see skirmish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
A corruption of skirmish. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.