al·​ter·​ca·​tion | \ ˌȯl-tər-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce altercation (audio) \

Definition of altercation

: a noisy, heated, angry dispute He got into several altercations with his boss. also : noisy controversy

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Choose the Right Synonym for altercation

quarrel, wrangle, altercation, squabble mean a noisy dispute usually marked by anger. quarrel implies heated verbal contention, stressing strained or severed relations which may persist beyond the contention. a quarrel nearly destroyed the relationship wrangle suggests undignified and often futile disputation with a noisy insistence on differing opinions. wrangle interminably about small issues altercation implies fighting with words as the chief weapon, although it may also connote blows. a loud public altercation squabble stresses childish and unseemly dispute over petty matters, but it need not imply bitterness or anger. a brief squabble over what to do next

Examples of altercation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Saudis claim, however, that Khashoggi died in an altercation, after officials confronted the journalist about returning to his home country and a fistfight broke out. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The US will revoke visas for Saudi suspects in Jamal Khashoggi’s killing," 24 Oct. 2018 The other two individuals in the vehicle were not involved in the altercation with the deputy, authorities said. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Los Angeles deputy wounded, 1 person dead in shootout," 25 Sep. 2018 Bentley reportedly was in an altercation with teammate Courtney Williams a week or so before the trade, but Connecticut has chosen not to comment on the rumors. Kelli Stacy,, "Layshia Clarendon Plays First Game In Sun Uniform In Loss To Liberty," 11 July 2018 According to an indictment obtained by USA TODAY, Henderson became embroiled in an altercation in a bar when a Serbian woman took a selfie with him and his friend. Nikolia Apostolou, USA TODAY, "One year later, family awaits justice in murder of Austin man on Greek island," 6 July 2018 The deputy wasn't injured in the altercation, and Legree was rushed to Ben Taub General Hospital for treatment, then taken to the county jail. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Houston man accused of shooting self while fighting deputy in Fiesta Mart bathroom," 6 July 2018 The feud turned physical when the artists and their entourages were involved in an altercation during The Roots Picnic in Philadelphia earlier in June. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Lil Uzi Vert Takes Aim at Rich the Kid on 03 Greedo's 'Never Bend' Remix: Listen," 22 June 2018 In 2014, Vidal was fined £90,000 by Juventus for his involvement in an altercation during a night out in Turin., "Report: Bayern Munich Star Arturo Vidal Charged for Involvement in Berlin Nightclub Brawl," 24 May 2018 People still aren't over the altercation between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B that went down at New York Fashion Week on September 7. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Nicki Minaj and Cardi B's Relationship: A Complete Timeline," 15 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'altercation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of altercation

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for altercation

see altercate

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Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for altercation

The first known use of altercation was in the 14th century

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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