al·​ter·​cate | \ ˈȯl-tər-ˌkāt How to pronounce altercate (audio) \
altercated; altercating

Definition of altercate

intransitive verb

: to dispute angrily or noisily : wrangle

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of altercate in a Sentence

this discussion is so silly we might as well altercate on how many angels can dance on the point of a needle

First Known Use of altercate

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for altercate

borrowed from Latin altercātus, past participle of altercārī, altercāre "to dispute vehemently, wrangle," derivative of alter "second, another" — more at alter

Note: The formation of altercārī is unclear. Ernout and Meillet (Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine, Paris, 1959/1985) assume that it is based on *altercus, an unattested variant of alternus "occurring in alternation" (see alternate entry 1). Leumann (Lateinische Laut- und Formenlehre, Munich, 1977) proposes syncope from *altericāre, with the suffix perhaps after duplicāre "to double" (see duplicate entry 1).

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about altercate

Time Traveler for altercate

Time Traveler

The first known use of altercate was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Statistics for altercate

Cite this Entry

“Altercate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on altercate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for altercate

Comments on altercate

What made you want to look up altercate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!