This is a soccer/football word, that comes to English through American football. Originally, it meant ‘practice play between a football team’s squads’. But over a period of time, what happens on the football field, rough and physical play, got incorporated into the language and the word came to imply a tussle or a fight.
The dictionary definitions for scrimmage are as follows:
1. Football: The contest between two teams from the time the ball is snapped until it is declared dead. (noun)
2. Sports: A practice session or informal game, as between two units of the same team. (noun)
3. a. A rough-and-tumble struggle; a tussle. (noun)
b. A skirmish. (noun)
Masters Tip to remember Scrimmage:
Remember the difference between scrimmage and scrummage.
The latter is a word used in rugby and means ‘(the method of beginning play in which the forwards of each team crouch side by side with locked arms; play starts when the ball is thrown in between them and the two sides compete for possession’.
Usage Examples for Scrimmage:
1. Little kids often get into scrimmages.
2. WWE is one place where scrimmages are stage-managed.
3. The soccer scrimmage gave the players confidence for the later game.