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 Dunn said his condition deteriorated rapidly after he was placed in segregation, apparently in response to an altercation with another prisoner. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Report calls on Michigan prison system to sharply reduce its use of solitary confinement," 16 Feb. 2021 Trey Songz has been arrested following an altercation with police at the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, TMZ reports. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Trey Songz Reportedly Arrested for Altercation With Police at KC Chiefs Game," 25 Jan. 2021 Evans had seen a post on Nextdoor about neighbors running into hostile Trump supporters the night of the riot, leading to a verbal altercation that had left residents of his corner of Northwest DC on edge. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "The Local Politics of Airbnb’s Ban on DC Rentals," 14 Jan. 2021 According to court records, Garza and Naomi Villanueva, Cardona’s stepdaughter, had argued in the days leading up to the altercation. Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times, "‘Justified’ or ‘despicable’? The twisted tale of an LAPD excessive force case," 3 Jan. 2021 Officers with the Springfield Township Police Department were dispatched to a residence at the 1400 block of Meredith Drive at 12:39 a.m. in response to a physical and verbal altercation between a male and a female, the release states. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, "Police: One dead following overnight shooting in Springfield Township," 25 Nov. 2020 Several reports later indicated that the suspension was related to a post-practice altercation Thomas had with teammate C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Luke Johnson,, "Drew Brees addresses Michael Thomas suspension: 'We're going to be all good'," 13 Oct. 2020 Gunfire that killed a Birmingham grandmother and injured two other people Sunday was linked to an altercation the previous night at the Alabama State Fair. Carol Robinson |, al, "Shooting that killed Birmingham grandmother, hurt 2 stemmed from Alabama State Fair fights," 21 Sep. 2020 Rodriguez said her frequent drug use led to an altercation at her middle school that landed her in detention. Special To The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Feds ban solitary confinement for kids in prison, but state juvenile facilities still use isolation," 8 Sep. 2020

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

Middle English altercacioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French altercacion, borrowed from Latin altercātiōn-, altercātiō, from altercārī, altercāre "to dispute vehemently, wrangle" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at altercate

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Time Traveler for altercation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for altercation

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Altercation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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