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

[Middle English, from Old Norse skyrta, shirt; see sker-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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