n. An irregular fight, especially between small parties; an engagement, in the presence of two armies, between small detachments advanced for the purpose either of drawing on a battle or of concealing by their fire the movements of the troops in the rear.n. Defense.n. Any contention or contest; a preliminary trial of strength, etc.n. Synonyms Rencounter, Brush, etc. See encounter.To fight irregularly, as in a skirmish; fight in small parties or along a skirmishline.To defend one's self; strike out in defense or attack.To be in a position of guarded and cautious attack; fence.