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skirmish with (someone or something)

1. noun A minor or short-lived fight, battle, conflict, or dispute with another person, country, group, military force, etc. Tom's skirmish with that guy in the pub landed both of them in jail. Our forces entered into a skirmish with rebels on the outskirts of the city. The country has been locked in an economic skirmish with its neighbors to the north over their plan to increase tariffs on imports.
2. verb To engage or enter into such a fight, battle, conflict, or dispute with someone, some group, or some country. Jack was expelled from school for skirmishing with some of the other boys in his class. The senator has been skirmishing with members of his own party recently over the issue of tax reform.
See also: skirmish
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

skirmish with someone or something

to have a minor fight with someone, a group, or something. Tim skirmished a bit with his brother and then ran into the house. I don't want to skirmish with the committee.
See also: skirmish
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Lindau, with Britain's King's German Legion observed, "The French skirmishers did not like to have dealings with us: we met at a great distance and the French bullets often struck the ground in front of us because the enemy's rifles [probably muskets] were bad, and the powder was very coarse ..." (6)
Whatever the cause, the 2 QOR's formation fell into confusion and Fenian skirmishers, seizing the opportunity, drove them and the entire militia force from the field.
When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, Buell accepted a commission with the army as a 2nd Lieutenant and led a company of skirmishers at the Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam.
(18) Following two shots, Morgan instructed the skirmishers to fall back to the first main line of defense, 150 yards to the rear at the base of the first crest of the field.
(14.) A knight, for example, required "a team of half a dozen men," including a mounted scout and skirmishers, known as a "lance," and in the fourteenth century the French knight adopted highly ornamented plate armor and chose to fight dismounted, "partly out of considerations of pure gallantry" (Howard 3, 12).
During the attack, McPherson tried to evade capture on horseback and was shot by Confederate skirmishers.
Public Diplomacy with its light funding, its light arms, are rather the scouts and skirmishers that move ahead of the infantry.
Some skirmishers had to precede these dispersed columns, but skirmish lines and linear tactics were avoided.
It must be that the Force [Tirah Expeditionary Force] is opposed to perhaps the best skirmishers and best natural rifle-shots in the world; and that the country they inhabit is probably the most difficult on the face of the globe.
The poem begins with an army pressing forward, its "cloud of skirmishers in advance" (Miller, Sequel 20).
Here we see a match of rhythm and mode of war: war dances for individualist skirmishers, entrainment-producing group bonding for the phalanx infantry and the trireme rowers.
Like American Civil War skirmishers 80 years earlier, the Raiders slowed the enemy advance by neatly folding their line back like a jackknife blade on its handle, firing as they went.
The Indians were excellent scouts, trackers, and skirmishers. And their reputation for ferocity alone could panic an enemy and tip the outcome.
That day, Hood had launched an attack on Union troops near Atlanta, and as McPherson rode toward his own men, he ran straight into a line of Confederate skirmishers. Commanded to halt, McPherson refused and was shot down when he turned his horse to escape, becoming the highest-ranking Union soldier to be killed during the Civil War.