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 It was determined that after an altercation, the man cut a roommate and threatened six occupants in the residence. Washington Post, "Loudoun County crime report," 5 May 2021 The first arrest came on Jan. 7, when he was booked after an altercation with a woman near Market and Montgomery streets, San Francisco Police Sgt. Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. man to face homicide charges following death of 7-month-old boy," 22 Apr. 2021 The growing chorus for police reform started in 2014 after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri, after an altercation. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright and Derek Chauvin's trial: Is de-escalation training the solution to recent deaths at the hands of police?," 16 Apr. 2021 October 27, 2013 - Brown and his bodyguard are arrested and charged with felony assault, after an alleged altercation outside the W Hotel in Washington, DC. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Chris Brown Fast Facts," 15 Apr. 2021 Police said several people fired shots after an altercation that occurred about 6:30 p.m., police said. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Lakewood mayor, police chief promise increased police presence at city parks following second shooting in a month," 14 Apr. 2021 As a young man, my grandfather had to flee Mississippi and the Jim Crow South after an altercation with a white man that put his life in danger. Cedrick Frazier, Star Tribune, "We must outlaw white supremacy in law enforcement," 8 Apr. 2021 The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Rudolph’s girlfriend called a male friend after the altercation early Wednesday morning, leading the friend and three other people to drive to Rudolph’s home and confront him in Lake Park. Wells Dusenbury,, "Former FSU football star Travis Rudolph argued with girlfriend and four men before deadly shooting, authorities say," 8 Apr. 2021 An off-duty Casa Grande police officer was hospitalized after an altercation in a Lowe’s Home Improvement parking lot on March 28. Nienke Onneweer, The Arizona Republic, "Off-duty Casa Grande officer dragged by car after trying to stop suspect in parking lot," 30 Mar. 2021

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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Altercation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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