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[skurt] /skɜrt/
the part of a gown, dress, slip, or coat that extends downward from the waist.
a one-piece garment extending downward from the waist and not joined between the legs, worn especially by women and girls.
some part resembling or suggesting the skirt of a garment, as the flared lip of a bell or a protective and ornamental cloth strip covering the legs of furniture.
a small leather flap on each side of a saddle, covering the metal bar from which the stirrup hangs.
Building Trades.
  1. baseboard (def 1).
  2. apron (def 13).
Also called apron. Furniture.
  1. a flat horizontal brace set immediately beneath the seat of a chair, chest of drawers, or the like, to strengthen the legs.
  2. Also called bed, frieze. a flat brace or support immediately beneath a tabletop.
Usually, skirts. the bordering, marginal, or outlying part of a place, group, etc.; the outskirts.
Older Slang: Usually Disparaging and Offensive. a term used to refer to a woman or girl: to chase some skirt;
a skirt chaser.
Rocketry. an outer part of a rocket or missile that provides structural support or houses such systems as avionics or gyroscopes.
verb (used with object)
to lie on or along the border of:
The hills skirt the town.
to border, wrap, or cover with a skirt or something suggesting a skirt in appearance or function.
to pass along or around the border or edge of:
Traffic skirts the town.
to avoid, go around the edge of, or keep distant from (something that is controversial, risky, etc.):
The senator skirted the issue.
to remove low-grade wool and foreign matter from (the outer edge of fleece).
verb (used without object)
to be or lie on or along the edge of something.
to move along or around the border of something.
Origin of skirt
1250-1300; Middle English skirte < Old Norse skyrta shirt
Related forms
skirtless, adjective
skirtlike, adjective
unskirted, adjective
13. evade, shun, circle, bypass. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for skirt
  • But first he stopped at home to change into a skirt.
  • The stretchy material makes it easy to get in and out of the skirt.
  • Pair this crowd-pleaser with grilled skirt steak and chili beans for a complete feast.
  • Last fall, anyone with an ounce of fashion had to have a long skirt.
  • They are well seasoned in trying to avert attention and skirt details.
  • We've developed a quality option for folks looking for a skirt to fit recreational kayaks.
  • Tuck lamium or a similar variegated plant between the cyclamen to add a lacy skirt of frosty-looking greenery.
  • The bottom is encircled by a long skirt of tinfoil, which hooks up to the ground wire.
  • The government may make some progress on social policy, but will skirt issues that could stir up sectarian disputes.
  • Fold-down straps and top morph this comfortable dress into a causal skirt ideal for travel.
British Dictionary definitions for skirt


a garment hanging from the waist, worn chiefly by women and girls
the part of a dress below the waist
Also called apron. a frieze or circular flap, as round the base of a hovercraft
the flaps on a saddle that protect a rider's legs
(Brit) a cut of beef from the flank
(often pl) a margin or outlying area
(NZ) the lower part of a sheep's fleece
(slang) bit of skirt, a girl or woman
(transitive) to form the edge of
(transitive) to provide with a border
when intr, foll by around, along, etc. to pass (by) or be situated (near) the outer edge of (an area, etc)
(transitive) to avoid (a difficulty, etc): he skirted the issue
(mainly Austral & NZ) to remove the trimmings or inferior wool from (a fleece)
Derived Forms
skirted, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse skyrtashirt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for skirt

early 14c., "lower part of a woman's dress," from Old Norse skyrta "shirt, a kind of kirtle;" see shirt. Sense development from "shirt" to "skirt" is possibly related to the long shirts of peasant garb (cf. Low German cognate Schört, in some dialects "woman's gown"). Sense of "border, edge" (in outskirts, etc.) first recorded late 15c. Metonymic use for "women collectively" is from 1550s; slang sense of "young woman" is from 1906; skirt-chaser first attested 1942.


c.1600, "to border, form the edge of," from skirt (n.). Meaning "to pass along the edge" is from 1620s. Related: Skirted; skirting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for skirt


  1. The captain of a ship or boat (1390+ Nautical)
  2. Any commanding officer; the OLD MAN (1906+ Army)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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