1. a rough or vigorous struggle.
  2. Football.
    1. the action that takes place between the teams from the moment the ball is snapped until it is declared dead.Compare line of scrimmage.
    2. a practice session or informal game, as that played between two units of the same team.

verb (used with or without object), scrim·maged, scrim·mag·ing.

  1. to engage in a scrimmage.


  1. a rough or disorderly struggle
  2. American football the clash of opposing linemen at every down


  1. (intr) to engage in a scrimmage
  2. (tr) to put (the ball) into a scrimmage

n.sometimes also scrummage, late 15c., alteration of skirmish (n.). Meaning in rugby and U.S. football dates from 1857, originally “a confused struggle between players.” v.1825, “quarrel, argue,” from scrimmage (n.). Team sports sense is from 1881. Related: Scrimmaged; scrimmaging.

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