Definition of skirt in US English:



  • 1A woman's outer garment fastened around the waist and hanging down around the legs.

    • ‘As she stepped out of the room, her hoop skirt swishing slightly, she ran into Drew.’
    • ‘Damien felt himself staring, she was wearing a short pleated denim skirt and her bikini.’
    • ‘She pulled on her pink leather skirt with a white shirt and rooted around for her shoes.’
    • ‘She smoothed her plaid skirt, adjusting any wrinkles or valleys that had been created.’
    • ‘Claire stepped into her short pleated denim skirt that she had altered herself.’
    • ‘I wore a short black leather skirt and a spaghetti strap tank top.’
    • ‘I straightened my blue jean skirt, and raised my hand to knock on the door, when it opened.’
    • ‘She was wearing a knee-length dark blue jean skirt with a front slit and a blue backless top.’
    • ‘The tiered A-line skirt will attract your cabana boy's attention without the need for finger snapping.’
    • ‘Chelsea ended up in a black pleated mini skirt with a tight red shirt that tied around the back.’
    • ‘She glanced down at her knee-length blue denim skirt and long white sweater, and sighed.’
    • ‘Her flowing skirt was hiked up in back with just a hint of a bustle.’
    • ‘I normally wear plaid skirts with a plain white blouse.’
    • ‘Jean tries to keep her patience by smoothing her suede leather skirt.’
    • ‘I had on a knee-length faded jean skirt with a red halter top.’
    • ‘She basically always wore an ankle length khaki skirt and a pale green sweater that always accentuated her hazel eyes.’
    • ‘Sighing, she straighten out her mini white skirt before turning around.’
    • ‘Madison straightened out her black mini skirt and matching camisole and exited the car.’
    • ‘After a swim, put on the wrap skirt over your bikini or swim suit, and go for a drink.’
    • ‘At the sound of the girls' skirts rustling, the men gave a start and began expressing their disapproval.’
    1. 1.1 The part of a coat or dress that hangs below the waist.
      • ‘She grabbed the flint out of the pocket of her trousers and slipped it into the small pocket in the skirt of her dress after giving her sister a hug.’
      • ‘It was a sleeveless dress and the skirt was long and flowing.’
      • ‘Then there are these gorgeous gorgeous heavenly dresses with their flowing skirts and soft dove grey colors.’
      • ‘It's a blue-grey tulle dress with a sequins-spattered skirt and sheer camisole top.’
      • ‘She smoothed out the long skirt of her gown and waited for Thomas to stand.’
      • ‘I adjusted the skirt of my green gown.’
      • ‘I pulled the skirt of my dress back down, readjusted the bodice so that it wasn't so twisted.’
      • ‘Amelia wore pretty dresses with full skirts and small waists with short jackets and fanned pumps.’
      • ‘When I stand my hands rest on the netted skirt of the gown.’
      • ‘Her tunic hung loosely around her as she adjusted her long skirt around her waist.’
      • ‘The dress had a beautiful A line skirt and a strapless bodice that had dark pink beaded designs on it.’
      • ‘The bodice hugged my form and the skirt flared to give me enough room to run.’
      • ‘The full length skirt of the dress flowed out, brushing the floor.’
      • ‘Her cerise dress had narrow skirts and large, puffed sleeves.’
      • ‘She was dressed in a style I had only seen in old portraits, a stiff black dress with flaring skirts and a lace-ornamented stomacher.’
      • ‘Amy adjusted Sara's coat over the skirt of her blue dress before turning for the scarf.’
      • ‘The lapels of the coat extend beyond the skirt, and halt at my mid-shin.’
    2. 1.2informal A woman or women regarded as objects of sexual desire.
      ‘so, Al, off to chase some skirt?’
      • ‘Dad told me you were quite a skirt chaser when you were in high school.’
      • ‘He was here, with her this very instant, and he wasn't leaving to go chase some skirt.’
      • ‘No, he was a skirt chaser of the worse kind.’
      • ‘He was chasing skirt and snorting booze, hoovering up every kind of sin and excess he could lay his gauntlets on.’
    3. 1.3 The curtain that hangs around the base of a hovercraft to contain the air cushion.
    4. 1.4 A surface that conceals or protects the wheels or underside of a vehicle or aircraft.
      • ‘Slender headlamps and a new tail lamp cluster add a dash of elegance while a trendy side skirt shows off alloy wheels.’
      • ‘Side skirts and new alloy wheels complete the changes.’
      • ‘There was a lot of emphasis on the cuts and the skirts were streamlined.’
      • ‘Besides its backside, the front is featuring a wider bumper that incorporates side skirts and a huge air inlet.’
      • ‘Body modifications include a high-rise hood, deep side skirts and cooling ducts ahead of the rear wheels.’
      • ‘The upper part of the suspension is covered by a protective skirt.’
      • ‘Furio and VTR models feature body colour-painted bumpers, skirts and rear spoiler, while the two-tone sports seats provide extra support.’
      • ‘In a move to attract younger drivers, the T3 grade hatchbacks have dedicated 15-inch alloy wheels, side and rear skirts and front fog lamps.’
      • ‘On the outside the 888 has new wheel arches, side skirts, chassis and an odd-looking rear spoiler.’
      • ‘A front spoiler, side skirts, radiator grille and sports exhaust with a specially-designed heat shield give the cabrio Brabus an elegant look.’
      • ‘Modifications extend far beyond the engine bay and include lowered suspension, side skirts or spoilers.’
      • ‘I decided to remove the Westin Nerf Bars that I had and add a Street Scene bumper, side skirts and custom grille.’
      • ‘It was leaded and lowered, with Moon hubs and full fender skirts; zero to sixty in just a few.’
      • ‘Pistons are jet cooled on the underside and piston skirts have a special coating to assure a smooth break-in period.’
      • ‘It was painted metallic mauve and had skirts over the wheel wells and dice sponges hanging from the rearview mirror.’
      • ‘Sprung armour side skirts protect the wheels and tracks.’
      • ‘The exterior is also enhanced with deep side skirts, flared wheel arches and two-tone bumpers.’
    5. 1.5 A small flap on a saddle, covering the bar from which the stirrup leather hangs.
      • ‘I pulled myself slowly into the saddle, arranging the skirts carefully.’
      • ‘If the saddle or the blanket is too long at the skirt it too may be rubbing her at the hip bone area.’
    6. 1.6archaic An edge, border, or extreme part.
      Compare with outskirts


[with object]
  • 1Go around or past the edge of.

    ‘he did not go through the city but skirted it’
    • ‘So we try to skirt past this lot, and find ourselves in the church of furniture, the calm haven that is Habitat.’
    • ‘In certain neighborhoods of Havana and the villages skirting the city, cherubic black Marys and Christs are worshipped.’
    • ‘The price of oil slipped below $US 60 a barrel as Hurricane Dennis skirted past refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.’
    • ‘Ever afterwards, they skirted the boundaries of our property as if we'd wired the perimeter with high-voltage electricity.’
    • ‘Oh, look, they just bumped hips skirting around that table.’
    • ‘Of course under some circumstances you find yourself skirting the edge of obscurantism.’
    • ‘Kook stood up and skirted the round table till he came to the small black oven that stood behind Taterra.’
    • ‘The two men rushed rapidly down the halls, skirting past servants and other court members.’
    • ‘They will follow the tiny paths over the mountains and through the famous vineyards of Rioja before skirting the cities of Burgos, Leon and Lugo.’
    • ‘He did not have the time to skirt round all the walls looking for a way out.’
    • ‘He skirted past the man and strode down the hall.’
    • ‘On my way out, I carefully skirted a group of bikers playing a rowdy game of pool.’
    • ‘It's possible Doc sought to ride us round them, skirting their flank without looking left nor right to acknowledge their being there.’
    • ‘If you are walking, you can skirt round the edge of the crag and follow some steps to rejoin the path.’
    • ‘He skirted round a large stone on the path, not wanting to trip and lose his place.’
    • ‘The uphill putt just skirts the left edge and Woods taps in for par.’
    • ‘Crichton novels often skirt the boundary between science fiction and reality.’
    • ‘We conducted a night move to skirt the city and get through the Karbala Gap.’
    • ‘He averted her gaze and skirted past her down the path she had come from, towards the bathroom.’
    go round, move round, walk round, circle, circumnavigate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Be situated along or around the edge of.
      ‘the fields that skirted the highway were full of cattle’
      • ‘The ‘road’ along Jomtien Beach was a stretch of unpaved dirt that skirted long lines of swaying palm trees.’
      • ‘At this time of year she may be just South, along the glades that skirt the woods.’
      • ‘Along the scenic route skirting the rim we stopped at every lookout to gaze at the fantastic scenery.’
      • ‘One field skirted the edge of a primary school, which was fenced off with barbed wire and guard posts.’
      • ‘Just outside the Utica airport's perimeter is a county highway that skirts the end of the main runway.’
      • ‘The highway skirted the shoreline, winding as it dipped beneath a sea of swaying grass.’
      • ‘It would skirt Northcliffe Playing fields and pass under or over Bradford Road at the Branch pub.’
      • ‘He walked along the path that skirted the building.’
      • ‘The highway skirts the border between mountains and high desert.’
      • ‘His current quarry had turned north to skirt the edge of the extensive lawn.’
      • ‘We also leased horses and went along a shaded path skirted by a stream.’
      • ‘Stay on this as it skirts Orielton Field Centre then heads south down into a small valley.’
      • ‘The South course winds through terraced canyons and skirts ocean cliff edges before finishing on a very challenging par 4.’
      border, edge, flank, fringe, line, lie alongside
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2skirt along/aroundno object Go along or around (something) rather than directly through or across it.
      ‘the river valley skirts along the northern slopes of the hills’
      • ‘Their parents used them to skirt around the legal limit of $1,000 that any individual can give to a particular candidate.’
      • ‘We skirted around water buffalo, flocks of chickens and barking dogs.’
      • ‘But the solution does not lie in skirting around the edges of the problem, but rather, diving directly in.’
      • ‘The path skirts around the hillside and soon reaches a wall gap by pylons.’
      • ‘I went out of my way to walk right through a puddle, rather than skirt around it.’
      • ‘I'm really skirting around the issue here, because I'm afraid to say it.’
      • ‘They all responded by skirting around the issue trying not to point of the finger of blame.’
      • ‘But let me make one point that people seem to skirt around.’
      • ‘Soon they were skirting along the coast towards Louisburgh as bonfires blazed along the road.’
      • ‘You often skirt around the ‘universal health care’ sacred cow.’
    3. 1.3 Attempt to ignore; avoid dealing with.
      ‘there was a subject she was always skirting’
      no object ‘the treaty skirted around the question of political cooperation’
      • ‘My clever ploy of skirting the issue with talks of tutoring hadn't worked.’
      • ‘I thus contend that, on this matter, Volokh is skirting the central issue.’
      • ‘Hewlett skirts this issue, by concentrating on practicalities.’
      • ‘Media coverage of hot-button issues usually skirts this aspect of them.’
      • ‘They employ the foul the wing back tactic more than most teams and their toughness skirts on the legality border.’
      • ‘Recent researchers have been less reductionist and more sympathetic than Adorno, but they too have skirted round the audience.’
      • ‘Further skirting round a definition of jazz, Dyer drops this fabulous description of Thelonius Monk approaching the piano.’
      • ‘His ears pounded and his lips trembled, but Tony didn't skirt around anything.’
      • ‘This is despite the likes of the Washington Post delicately skirting round the direct quote.’
      • ‘The bill was drafted in an attempt to skirt constitutional concerns.’
      • ‘‘I thought you didn't want to talk about it,’ Brett replied, skirting past the real discussion on hand.’
      • ‘The time seems to have come for Japan to stop skirting this essential question.’
      • ‘Mac wasn't ready to deal with that so he skirted the question.’
      • ‘The new film just seems to be skirting round things; it hasn't been brave enough.’
      • ‘They skirt the law by being careful not to advocate voting for or against any candidate.’
      • ‘Canseco's charges were met with outright denials or responses that skirted the issue.’
      • ‘We are next door, enjoying a glass of wine, skirting round the topic of the missing Christmas lights.’
      • ‘While uncomfortable with the question the Tánaiste skirted round it nicely and the matter was dropped.’
      • ‘"They skirt the usury laws by saying it's not a loan, " Nixon said.’
      • ‘He skirts the road-legality issue by informing customers that his bikes are sold for recreation, not transportation.’
      avoid, evade, steer clear of, sidestep, dodge, circumvent, bypass, pass over, fight shy of
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old Norse skyrta ‘shirt’; compare with synonymous Old English scyrte, also with short. The verb dates from the early 17th century.