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

  • n. The part of a garment, such as a dress or coat, that hangs freely from the waist down.
  • n. A garment hanging from the waist and worn by women and girls.
  • n. A part or attachment resembling the skirt of a garment, especially:
  • n. One of the leather flaps hanging from the side of a saddle.
  • n. The lower outer section of a rocket vehicle.
  • n. A flexible strip hanging from the base of an air-cushion vehicle.
  • n. A piece of fabric that extends over or beyond something to afford protection.
  • n. An outer edge; a border or margin: a base camp on the skirt of the mountain.
  • n. The edge, as of a town; the outskirts.
  • n. Offensive Slang A woman.
  • transitive v. To lie along or form the edge of; border: the creek that skirts our property.
  • transitive v. To pass around rather than across or through: changed their course to skirt the storm.
  • transitive v. To pass close to; miss narrowly: The bullet skirted an artery.
  • transitive v. To evade, as by circumlocution: skirted the controversial issue.
  • intransitive v. To lie along, move along, or be an edge or a border.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An article of clothing, usually worn by women and girls, that hangs from the waist and covers the lower part of the body.
  • n. The part of a dress or robe that hangs below the waist.
  • n. A woman.
  • n. A part that serves as a border or edging.
  • v. To be on or form the border of.
  • v. To move around or along the border of; to avoid the center of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The lower and loose part of a coat, dress, or other like garment; the part below the waist.
  • n. A loose edging to any part of a dress.
  • n. Border; edge; margin; extreme part of anything.
  • n. A petticoat.
  • n. The diaphragm, or midriff, in animals.
  • transitive v. To cover with a skirt; to surround.
  • transitive v. To border; to form the border or edge of; to run along the edge of.
  • transitive v. To be on the border; to live near the border, or extremity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To border; form the border or edge of; move along the edge of.
  • To be or live on the border; also, to move along a border, shore, or edge.
  • Specifically, in hunting, to go round hedges and gates instead of jumping over or breaking through: said of a man or dog.
  • A dialectal form of squirt.
  • n. The lower and hanging part of a coat or other garment; the part of a garment below the waist.
  • n. A woman's petticoat; the part of a woman's dress that hangs from the waist; formerly, a woman's lap.
  • n. A hanging part, loose from the rest: as, the skirt of a saddle. See cut under saddle.
  • n. A narrow frill, corresponding to what would now be called a ruffle.
  • n. Border; edge; margin; extreme part: as, the skirts of a town.
  • n. In milling, the margin of a millstone.
  • n. Milit., same as base, 2.
  • n. The midriff or diaphragm: so called from its appearance, as seen in butchers' meat. Also skirting.

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

  • n. cloth covering that forms the part of a garment below the waist
  • n. (Fungi) a remnant of the partial veil that in mature mushrooms surrounds the stem like a collar
  • v. form the edge of
  • v. avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
  • v. extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle
  • n. informal terms for a (young) woman
  • n. a garment hanging from the waist; worn mainly by girls and women
  • v. pass around or about; move along the border


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

Middle English, from Old Norse skyrta, shirt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse skyrta, from Proto-Germanic *skurtijōn. Compare shirt.



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  • A contranym: it refers to both touching ("encircle, on the sides, clothing" and not-touching ("around the border, staying clear from").

    August 5, 2008