- (intransitive) To leave hastily; to flee, especially with a whirring sound
1851, Frank Forester, , edition HTML, The Gutenberg Project, published 2006:
- … while at the same moment, whir-r-r! up sprung a bevy of twenty quail, at least, startling me for the moment by the thick whirring of their wings, and skirring over the underwood right toward Archer.
1919, EJ Thompson, Beyond Baghdad, edition HTML, The Gutenberg Project, published 2006:
- Our left wing, when they occupied the hills, saw four or five hundred Turks 'skirr away' in one body, and the machine-gunners found a target.
1920, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Thuvia, Maiden of Mars, edition HTML, The Gutenberg Project, published 2008:
- ... but that they had no thought to let the thing go unnoticed was quickly evidenced by the skirring of motors upon the landing-stage and the quick shooting airward of a long-lined patrol boat.
- (transitive) To search about in, scour
1851, Washington Irving, Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada, edition HTML, The Gutenberg Project, published 2009:
- The gates of Granada once more poured forth legions of light scouring cavalry, which skirred the country up to the very gates of the Christian fortresses, sweeping off flocks and herds.
- to pass over quickly, skim
Often mistakenly used instead of skirl.
skirr (plural skirrs)
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.