altercation

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noun al·ter·ca·tion \ˌȯl-tər-ˈkā-shən\

Definition of altercation

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

Origin and Etymology of altercation

see altercate


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of 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.


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