skirmish has definitions from the field of military
[ noun ] a minor short-term fight


encounter clash brush

Used in print

(Bell I. Wiley, "Home Letters of Johnny Reb and Billy...)

A Federal infantryman wrote to his father shortly after his first skirmish in Virginia : `` Dear Pa .

(Barry Goldwater, "A Foreign Policy for America"...)

Fearful of inviting a military showdown with the West which they could not win , the Communists seek to undermine Western power where the nuclear might of the West is irrelevant - in backwoods guerrilla skirmishes , in mob uprisings in the streets , in parliaments , in clandestine meetings of undercover conspirators , at the United_Nations , on the propaganda front , at diplomatic conferences - preferably at the highest level .

Related terms

fight contretemps

[ verb ] (military) engage in a skirmish

Used in print

(Robert Penn Warren, Wilderness....)

He thought_of Simms_Purdew snoring on his bunk while Pullen_James crouched by the hearth , skirmishing an undershirt for lice , and a wet log sizzled .

Related terms

fight skirmisher