skirt – Wiktionary

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skirt - Wiktionary



From Center English skyrte, from Outdated Norse skyrta, from Proto-Germanic *skurtijǭ. Doublet of shirt. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Skoarte (apron), Dutch schort (apron), German Schürze (apron), Danish skørt (skirt), Swedish skört (hem of a jacket), Norwegian skjørt (skirt).



skirt (plural skirts)

  1. An article of clothes, often worn by girls and women, that hangs from the waist and covers the decrease a part of the physique.
    • c. 1907, O. Henry, The Purple Gown:
      “I like purple greatest,” mentioned Maida. “And previous Schlegel has promised to make it for $8. It’ll be pretty. I will have a plaited skirt and a shirt coat trimmed with a band of galloon beneath a white fabric collar with two rows of—”
  2. The a part of a gown or gown, and so on., that hangs beneath the waist.
    • 1885, Ada S. Ballin, The Science of Gown in Concept and Follow, Chapter XI:
      The petticoats and skirts ordinarily worn are decidedly the heaviest a part of the gown ; therefore it’s essential that some reform must be effected in these.
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Pink-Headed League
      “It is all clear,” he whispered. “Have you ever the chisel and the luggage? Nice Scott! Bounce, Archie, leap, and I will swing for it!”
      Sherlock Holmes had sprung out and seized the intruder by the collar. The opposite dived down the outlet, and I heard the sound of rending fabric as Jones clutched at his skirts.
    • 1912, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Misplaced World[1]:

      I had sprung to my toes. I used to be talking, and but I had ready no phrases. Tarp Henry, my companion, was plucking at my skirts and I heard him whispering, “Sit down, Malone! Do not make a public ass of your self.”

  3. A unfastened edging to any a part of a gown.
    • July 27, 1713, Joseph Addison, The Guardian no. 118
      A slim lace, or a small skirt of superb ruffled linen, which runs alongside the higher a part of the stays earlier than, and crosses the breast, being part of the tucker, known as the modesty piece.
  4. A petticoat.
  5. (derogatory, slang) A lady.
    • 1931, Robert E. Howard, Alleys of Peril:
      “Mate,” mentioned the Cockney, after we might completed about half the bottle, “it involves me that we’re a pair o’ blightin’ idjits to be workin’ for a skirt.”
      “What d’ya imply?” I requested, taking a pull on the bottle.
      “Properly, ‘ere’s us, two red-blooded ‘e-men, takin’ orders from a awful little frail, ‘andin’ the swag h’over to ‘er, and takin’ wot she warnts to ‘and us, w’en we might ‘ave the ‘ole lot. Take this job ‘ere now–“
  6. (Britain, colloquial) Ladies collectively, in a sexual context.
  7. (Britain, colloquial) Sexual activity with a girl.
  8. Border; edge; margin; excessive a part of something.
    • ca. 1599, William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act III, sc. 2:
      right here within the skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.
    • 1820, John Keats, “Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil. A Story from Boccaccio.”, in Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Different Poems, London: Printed [by Thomas Davison] for Taylor and Hessey, [], OCLC 927360557, stanza XXXIX, web page 68:

      I’m a shadow now, alas! alas! / Upon the skirts of human-nature dwelling / Alone: […]

  9. The diaphragm, or midriff, in animals.
    (Can we discover and add a citation of Dunglison to this entry?)

Utilization notes[edit]

  • (article of clothes): It was previously widespread to talk of “skirts” (plural) somewhat than “a skirt”. In some instances this served to emphasise an array of skirts of underskirts, or of pleats and folds in a single skirt; in different instances it made little or no distinction in which means.

Derived phrases[edit]



The translations beneath should be checked and inserted above into the suitable translation tables, eradicating any numbers. Numbers don’t essentially match these in definitions. See directions at Wiktionary:Entry format § Translations.


skirt (third-person singular easy current skirts, current participle skirting, easy previous and previous participle skirted)

  1. To be on or type the border of.

    The plain was skirted by rows of bushes.

  2. To maneuver round or alongside the border of; to keep away from the middle of.

    skirt a mountain

    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room Chapter 1
      An unlimited man and lady (it was early-closing day) had been stretched immobile, with their heads on pocket-handkerchiefs, aspect by aspect, inside just a few toes of the ocean, whereas two or three gulls gracefully skirted the incoming waves, and settled close to their boots.
    • 2013 June 1, “Concepts coming down the observe”, in The Economist, quantity 407, quantity 8838, web page 13 (Know-how Quarterly):

      A “transferring platform” scheme [] is extra technologically bold than maglev trains although it depends on typical rails. Native trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and permit passengers to modify trains by stepping by means of docking bays. […] This could additionally let high-speed trains skirt cities as transferring platforms ferry passengers to and from the town centre.

    • 2020 November 18, Paul Bigland, “New infrastructure and new rolling inventory”, in Rail, web page 51:

      I might forgotten how scenic components of the road are – the railway crosses a number of streams whereas meandering by means of meadows or skirting woodland.

  3. To cowl with a skirt; to encompass.
  4. To keep away from or ignore (one thing); to handle to keep away from (one thing or an issue); to skate by (one thing).

    He skirted the problem of which events to attend by staying at residence as a substitute.

Associated phrases[edit]


The translations beneath should be checked and inserted above into the suitable translation tables, eradicating any numbers. Numbers don’t essentially match these in definitions. See directions at Wiktionary:Entry format § Translations.


Center English[edit]



  1. Different type of skyrte

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