AskDefine | Define scrimmage

Dictionary Definition



1 (American football) practice play between a football team's squads
2 a noisy riotous fight [syn: melee, battle royal] v : practice playing (a sport)

User Contributed Dictionary



A corruption of skirmish.


  1. A rough fight.
  2. In some team sports, especially soccer, a practice game which does not count on a team's record.
  3. In American football or Canadian football, a play that begins with a snap from the center while opposing teams are on either side of a line of scrimmage.

Extensive Definition

Scrimmage (sometimes spelled scrummage), which derives from or is cognate to the word "skirmish", can refer to:
  • A scrimmage, an informal or practice game between members of the same sports team
  • A scrimmage, an exhibition game or informal match between two teams or individual competitors which does not go on record or have title consequences
  • The line of scrimmage in American football and related games
  • The scrummage (or scrum) formation (or a ruck) in rugby (the "scrimmage" spelling is very rare in this context in modern times)
  • A scrimmage game, or "pick-up" game, in amateur football (soccer) — a game in which the players generally do not know each other prior to playing; players often circulate among known fields in their area and ask to join a game or team that they find particularly fitting for their skill level, availability, etc.
  • Scrimmage hockey or pick-up hockey, American ice hockey variants
  • A scrimmage (shortened "scrim") in online games (mostly First Person Shooters) is a battle or match between two different clans or guilds.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

action, aerial combat, affray, armored combat, battle, battle royal, brawl, broil, brouhaha, brush, bullfight, clash, clash of arms, cockfight, combat, conflict, disturbance, dogfight, donnybrook, donnybrook fair, embroilment, exchange of blows, fight, fire fight, fracas, fray, free-for-all, ground combat, hand-to-hand combat, hand-to-hand fight, house-to-house combat, knock-down-and-drag-out, melee, naval combat, passage of arms, pitched battle, quarrel, riot, row, ruckus, ruction, rumble, rumpus, running fight, scramble, scrap, scuffle, set-to, shoving match, skirmish, stand-up fight, street fight, struggle, tauromachy, tug-of-war, tussle
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