A brief, minor, and usually unplanned fight or battle between small groups, often as a part of a larger conflict or war.


US English

UK English

See Synonyms, Antonyms and Usage

Excerpts from News Articles

I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world — I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

Logo 2023-02-14 MSNBC News

In another sense, though, he maybe has a BONER—he’s been sniffing round Eva Marie and suggesting a skirmish . This is all very good, totally neurotic movie dialogue—I don’t know who suffered more, the writer, the actors or the audience in those days.

Logo 2023-03-07 Literary Hub

Ohio, however, looms as the next big abortion battleground on the 2023 calendar – with skirmishes already underway in the courts, the state legislature and on the airwaves.

Logo 2023-04-01 CNN News

It might seem that India and the United States would be natural bedfellows. But the purpose of China’s border skirmish in the Himalayas in 2020 may have been to send India a message not to get too close to America.

Logo 2023-04-03 Reuters

The director chooses to put the spectator close to the action, with the camera lodged inside the action sequences. It’s too much and far too close for comfort, and the overall effect is a muddled one. Where are the thrusts, the lunges, the parries, the sweeps, the blocks? In short, where are skirmishes that make the genre such a delight to watch? Did they not put the actors through some intense training?

Logo 2023-04-07 EURO News

China and India have had several skirmishes over the disputed border area, and clashes in mountainous regions in recent years have seriously strained ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Logo 2023-04-10 Al Jazeera

The boundary was demarcated following the 1962 Sino-Indian war to clearly separate India-controlled territories from Chinese-controlled ones. New Delhi and Beijing have different perceptions of where exactly the LAC lies, and multiple border skirmishes have taken place along the line, including most recently, the Ladakh confrontation which left dozens of soldiers killed on both sides in 2020, and in Arunachal in December 2022, which left multiple injured.

Logo 2023-04-10 RT News

During a public meeting earlier this year in Redding, California – nearly 3,000 miles away from the Delaware courtroom where Dominion and Fox News’ legal skirmishes have played out – Patrick Jones, the chairman of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, quoted claims from Fox News’ legal filings to argue that Dominion’s machines are “riddled with bugs.” The email was sent in October 2020 by Dominion’s director of product strategy and security.

Logo 2023-04-11 CNN News

It would take a brave man to pick a fight with Roy Keane, and nobody could quarrel with his view of Liverpool’s Scotland fullback Andy Robertson after a skirmish at Anfield. Robertson appeared to be feebly elbowed in the face as he approached linesman Constantine Hatzidakis at half time.

Logo 2023-04-13 The Spectator

That skirmishes in the region turned deadly is no real surprise to me – they have done so many times before. But the latest escalation has taken on a new dimension with the war in Ukraine. In short, the response from both the West and Russia to tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been complicated by their commitments elsewhere. Meanwhile, other regional powers have stepped in.

Logo 2023-04-13 The Conversation

Key to that victory was South Carolina, where Bostick and other Revolutionary War enthusiasts are trying to revive enthusiasm for the conflict. In the first half of the 1800s, historians gave South Carolina credit for winning the U.S. independence. Battles and skirmishes were fought in 42 of the state’s 46 counties.

Logo 2023-04-14 Associated Press

“This is probably the wildest part of Essex,” says Kieren Alexander, the RSPB site manager, scanning the wetlands with his binoculars for more skirmishes after the lapwings settle.

Logo 2023-04-15 The Guardian

The paper apparently reports that the AI decided to have a look at parts of India that are home to an Indian army unit involved in recent border skirmishes with Chinese forces, and a Japanese port that occasionally houses visiting US naval vessels.

Logo 2023-04-16 The Register

Both the military and the RSF claimed successes in social media posts Sunday, but it was unclear which side had gained the upper hand as skirmishes went on in the capital, Khartoum, as well as other parts of the country.

Logo 2023-04-17 MSNBC News

The trial is considered a test of whether Fox's coverage crossed the line between ethical journalism and the pursuit of ratings, as Dominion alleges and Fox denies. Fox has portrayed itself in the pretrial skirmishing as a defender of press freedom.

Logo 2023-04-18 Reuters

Even the coronation has failed to stem the flow of rumours about splits, schisms and sabotage. Or, rather, this looming event, with its global audience of 100 million, seems only to have heightened the tensions, and provoked more skirmishes between the combatants.

Logo 2023-04-18 The Independent

Though Pezzola said he considered the crowd to have been passive at that moment, video of the scene shows skirmishes along the police line, which officers positioned on a nearby overhang were witnessing with a birds eye view.

Logo 2023-04-19 Politico

“This is why we used to shoot looters,” he said over footage of the skirmishes – “in order to defend the foundation of all that we have … without that we’d be living in savagery and chaos. In Chicago they already are.”

Logo 2023-04-19 The Guardian

For decades, the occasional high-profile battles over the Supreme Court drew national attention, but now the Senate is consumed with skirmishes over lower federal courts, whose controversial rulings can create a national stir. Just look at the fallout from a Texas district judge’s decision earlier this month to invalidate an abortion medication’s regulatory approval.

Logo 2023-04-19 The Washington Post

White House officials have spent weeks engaged in skirmishes with House Republicans over the looming debt ceiling battle.

Logo 2023-04-19 CNN News

It’s been brewing for months, but with the release of the House Republican proposal to raise the debt ceiling yesterday, it’s safe to say that the latest skirmish in the perennial Washington standoff has officially kicked off.

Logo 2023-04-20 The Guardian

This means that, for the first time in the United States, voters will weigh in directly on the future of gas in new homes, turning a local ballot skirmish into one with national implications.

Logo 2023-04-21 The Washington Post

Skirmishes periodically flare along disputed parts of Sudan's border with Ethiopia. Analysts say either side could take advantage of Sudan's unrest to press their objectives.

Logo 2023-04-21 Reuters

In a potential win for McCarthy, some of his biggest skeptics during the speakership skirmish appear to be tuning out what’s happening at the top. About a half-dozen members of the House Freedom Caucus interviewed for this story largely shrugged off the leadership drama as separate from their world — though some were displeased and defensive about the sidelining of Arrington, a fellow conservative albeit not a member of the group.

Logo 2023-04-21 Politico

Skirmishes periodically flare along disputed parts of Sudan’s border with Ethiopia. Analysts say either side could take advantage of Sudan’s unrest to press their objectives.

Logo 2023-04-21 Al Jazeera

The RSF declared a 72-hour truce on Friday, despite continuous skirmishes with the Sudanese Army. "The truce coincides with the blessed Eid open humanitarian corridors to evacuate citizens and give them the opportunity to greet their families," the RSF said in a statement. There was no immediate comment from the army. Before Friday, two declared 24-hour ceasefires had failed to take hold.

Logo 2023-04-22 CGTN

Battles between two rival Sudanese commanders had forced the closing of the main international airport and left roads out of the country in control of armed fighters. The skirmishes has killed more than 400 people.

Logo 2023-04-23 Associated Press

In 2020, after decades of skirmishes , Azerbaijan began a military operation that became the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, swiftly breaking through Armenian defences. Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, won a resounding victory in the 44-day war, taking back parts of Karabakh.

Logo 2023-04-24 Al Jazeera

Those opening skirmishes signaled this would not be the easy victory King George III had anticipated. The American War of Independence was underway.

Logo 2023-04-24 The Washington Post

The skirmish began last year after Disney criticized a Florida measure banning classroom discussion of sexuality and gender identity with younger children. DeSantis repeatedly attacked "woke Disney" in public remarks.

Logo 2023-04-26 Reuters

Pakistan denied the existence of any such camps and claimed that the strikes had been conducted in an empty field. Skirmishes between the countries occurred the following day. Pakistan captured an Indian Air Force pilot but soon returned him to India.

The battle of Trenton is a storing American victory. Over 1,000 Hessians are captured along with six cannons, and enough supplies to outfit several American brigades. Seven days later, Washington presses his advantage, outmaneuvering the main British army and striking the garrison at Princeton. He wins another victory and captures nearly 200 British regulars. With his army rejuvenated, Washington marches to Morristown and settles in for the rest of the winter. There was almost constant skirmishes between Patriots and British foraging parties, forcing the New York City British-controlled garrison to rely on supplies bought by sea.

But the function of such a law is to demonstrate ferocity of intent to stop boats and to solicit opposition from the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, which can be narrated as softness on an issue where target voters want toughness. Once enacted, the law’s secondary function kicks in: provoking a culture war skirmish with any judicial authority that dares to insist that the British state meet its obligations to respect refugees’ human rights. If that authority is European, all the better.

Logo 2023-04-26 The Guardian

Some of the conflicts between the Tennessee militia and Red Sticks resemble slaughters more than military skirmishes . Cozzens recounts the horrors of the Battle of Tallushatchee in graphic detail by drawing on the memoirs of Davy Crockett, who recalled: “We now shot them like dogs.

Logo 2023-04-26 The Washington Post

For 10 days, a power struggle between two military leaders has rocked Sudan. Around 500 people have died so far in bloody skirmishes . With civilian targets under fire and senior EU diplomats being attacked, European countries are scrambling to evacuate their people trapped on the ground.

Logo 2023-04-27 Politico