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

The couple has been off and on since welcoming their daughter on April 3, making headlines for their explosive altercations. Aurelie Corinthios,, "Ronnie Ortiz-Magro's Ex Posts Sweet Couple Photos as Source Says They're 'Taking Things Slow'," 12 July 2018 The city could still seek to discipline Rialmo in the altercation. Dan Hinkel,, "Chicago cop involved in controversial fatal shooting cleared by judge in bar fight," 10 July 2018 Maker later tweeted an apology for his role in the altercation. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks' Thon Maker involved in brawl during game between Australia and Philippines in FIBA World Cup," 2 July 2018 In an altercation caught on video, police officers pile on a thrashing, screaming 20-year-old woman in Northern California after a traffic stop Saturday. Don Sweeney And Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "She grabbed a cop's hair and wouldn't let go. Out came the scissors, video shows," 20 June 2018 The toddler’s mother, who is in her 20s, was not injured in the altercation, police said. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Grandmother and toddler struck by SUV in Waukegan domestic altercation, police say," 13 June 2018 BASKETBALL Thompson, Love not suspended Cavaliers forwards Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love avoided suspensions for their roles in an altercation late in Cleveland’s overtime loss to Golden State in Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals., "Tom Brady has been working out in Foxborough after all," 2 June 2018 Despite his three years with the department, some said his demeanor was more like that of a rookie officer in his first physical altercation. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Ex-Flagstaff cop in viral punch video: 'I don't believe I did anything wrong'," 17 May 2018 Anthony was charged with disorderly conduct in the altercation inside of the Waffle House. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Anthony Wall Was Choked by a Police Officer While Escorting His Sister to Prom," 11 May 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

30 Sep 2018

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

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