al·​ter·​ca·​tion | \ˌȯl-tər-ˈkā-shən \

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

Marijuana was the most common drug used by those in deadly altercations with police, followed by methamphetamine, GBI data showed. Alexis Stevens, The Seattle Times, "Georgia tallies meth’s toll: Nearly 20 percent of those killed by police in state test positive for it," 20 Nov. 2018 Were there no calamitous altercations that left characters wounded or scarred? Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead’s fresh start looks like a big step back," 12 Nov. 2018 Dumitru’s boyfriend and his father arrived before police, and a second altercation occurred, court documents said. Lyndsay Winkley,, "Did the 'system' fail mentally ill man who shot 2 San Diego police officers? Some think so," 1 July 2018 An altercation erupted into gunfire in east Baytown Thursday evening, sending a teen and a man to the hospital with shotgun wounds, police said. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pony 14-year-old all-stars rocked by Baytown 16-3," 29 June 2018 Track Palin pleaded guilty in an Anchorage courtroom Tuesday to a charge of misdemeanor criminal trespassing stemming from a December altercation with his father at the family's home in Wasilla. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Track Palin pleads guilty to reduced charge, enters Anchorage court program for veterans," 19 June 2018 After news broke of Cardi and Minaj's NYFW altercation, Cardi posted a statement on Instagram that claimed Minaj instigated the fight by saying hurtful things about her daughter, Kulture. D. Elizabeth, Glamour, "Cardi B Just Hit Back at People Saying Her Feud With Nicki Minaj Is Ending Her Career," 26 Sep. 2018 Upon noticing the altercation, the bus driver pulled over — causing the crash — and the fight surged toward the front of the bus, Hernandez said. Alex Riggins,, "Bus stabbing sends victim to hospital with life-threatening injuries, ends in arrest," 11 July 2018 Perales was involved in a Dayton bar altercation in 2013. Chrissie Thompson,, "Ohio lawmaker admits to inappropriate texts but denies kissing, choking primary opponent," 27 Mar. 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

9 Dec 2018

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

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