barney

noun

bar·​ney ˈbär-nē How to pronounce barney (audio)
plural barneys
1
British, informal
a
: an angry argument : altercation, row
You might have a barney with your husband over his inability to find your jokes funny but actually resorting to punching, kicking or lifting a weapon is beyond me.Elaine C. Smith, Sunday Mail, 31 July 2005
She accused him of knocking her front teeth out in a barney, while admitting that more often than not she initiated the punch-ups.David Bennun, The Guardian (London), 17 Sept. 1999
b
: a boisterous good time
2
: a small car attached to a cable used to push cars up a slope in a mine

Word History

Etymology

perhaps from the name Barney

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of barney was in 1864

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Dictionary Entries Near barney

Cite this Entry

“Barney.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barney. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

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