bick·​er·​ing | \ ˈbi-k(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce bickering (audio) \

Definition of bickering

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: petty and petulant quarreling especially when prolonged or habitual … said his own bosses, through their persistent bickering, had made his job practically impossible.— Ronald Scott also, plural : instances of such quarreling was tired of listening to their endless bickerings



Definition of bickering (Entry 2 of 2)

: engaging in or characterized by petty and petulant quarreling a bickering couple bickering politicians

Examples of bickering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Of course, three years later Teigen and Kardashian West are now very close friends, so clearly neither the bride nor groom held anything against the couple for bickering on their special day. Vogue, "Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Got Into a Very Big, Very Relatable Fight at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Wedding," 18 Jan. 2019 These proposals have already sparked partisan bickering. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Republicans are suddenly pushing “good governance” in states they lost power in.," 5 Dec. 2018 The transcripts also will offer a detailed look at a yearlong probe that began with a promise of bipartisan comity and quickly descended into partisan bickering. Byron Tau, WSJ, "House Panel Votes to Release Transcripts of Its Russia Probe," 28 Sep. 2018 After days of bickering, and with food and water running low on the ship, Spain stepped in and granted the rescue boat entry. Washington Post, "World Digest: June 17, 2018," 17 June 2018 But the entire time, Murkowski seemed to be looking past the partisan bickering. Kay Steiger, Vox, "8 takeaways from the knock-down, drag-out fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation," 6 Oct. 2018 What some managers thought would help keep workers at their desks instead of going out for coffee, has actually led to employees wasting time bickering or waging campaigns for their preferred brews. Julie Jargon, WSJ, "11 Scoops or 12? Coffee Wars Come to the Office," 9 Oct. 2018 There are real consequences to these disagreements beyond red-blue bickering. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why mayors and urban leaders will have a bigger impact in 2018 elections," 21 Sep. 2018 People with Aries Venus adore flirtatious romances that are defined by physical touch, exciting spontaneity, and (of course) some playful bickering to keep the flame burning. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What the Position of Venus in Your Birth Chart Means for You," 31 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bickering.' 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 bickering


1573, in the meaning defined above


1811, in the meaning defined above

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Bickford fuse

Statistics for bickering

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for bickering

The first known use of bickering was in 1573

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More from Merriam-Webster on bickering

Nglish: Translation of bickering for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bickering for Arabic Speakers

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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