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 According to an arrest citation, Louisville police learned through an investigation and witnesses that Hunter-Purcell and two other female subjects were on Caldwell Street due to an altercation that began on Instagram. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville man charged with 21-year-old woman's murder from December, police say," 13 Feb. 2020 Russell’s behavior led to an altercation between him and Clooney. Kaitlin Reilly,, "Michael B. Jordan & Margot Robbie Are Finally Starring In A Movie Together," 12 Feb. 2020 Leading up to the violent altercation, according to the affidavit, Kumtong had been banging on the airport bathroom doors of the flight headed from Los Angeles to Narita, Japan. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "‘I will kill you': United flight diverted to Anchorage after passenger attacked flight attendant, charges say," 6 Feb. 2020 But his life off the ice wasn’t as stellar — years of alcoholism and untreated depression would eventually lead to an unfortunate altercation resulting in the father of seven’s untimely death at age 40. Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Terry Sawchuk biopic ‘Goalie’ renders life of former NHL star (and L.A. King) inertly," 6 Feb. 2020 In interviews police conducted in September with the two other people, it was revealed that a drug deal led to a physical altercation in which Munoz threw the cellphone and the shot was fired. Christopher Roth, azcentral, "Man arrested for murder tells police he shot his friend in Tempe last July," 4 Feb. 2020 Afterward, Smart expressed displeasure when asked about arena security’s response to the altercation during a postgame interview. Matt Schubert, The Denver Post, "Marcus Smart claims Nuggets fan told him to “get on your knees” during courtside altercation," 23 Nov. 2019 Shelby County sheriff’s deputies responded to Brook Highland Place apartments shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday after receiving a third-party call in reference to an altercation inside a home there. Carol Robinson |, al, "Longtime Alabama educator killed in Shelby County murder-suicide," 18 Nov. 2019 Officers with the Burbank Police Department responded to the altercation around 9 p.m. at the AMC Burbank 16 at 125 E. Palm Ave. Andy Nguyen, Burbank Leader, "‘Joker’ fight in Burbank happened because of loud moviegoers, police say," 18 Oct. 2019

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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Altercation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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