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 In between partisan bickering, DeJoy sought to promote a forthcoming 10-year strategic plan, which attracted tentative approval from high-profile members on both sides of the aisle. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, "Postmaster General DeJoy apologizes for 'unacceptable' mail delays during holidays," 24 Feb. 2021 The partisan bickering before the commission gets off the ground is raising questions about whether lawmakers can coalesce around a thorough review of the Jan. 6 riot that interrupted the presidential electoral count and led to five deaths. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, "Republicans push back on Pelosi proposal for riot commission," 24 Feb. 2021 The moment was devastating for its blatant injustice, but also affecting to see the ladies hear the news together, all the bickering from earlier in their trip forgotten, and showing great strength and grace. Mary Sollosi,, "The Week in 'Wives: RHOD and RHOA girls' trips, RHONJ and RHOSLC rivalries," 20 Feb. 2021 Willis said the number of unattached voters has been growing as people increasingly express dissatisfaction with partisan bickering in Washington. Jeff Barker,, "Is Maryland growing even more blue politically? Democrats are showing gains in battleground counties.," 9 Dec. 2020 Gimenez supported keeping her but hopes the party can move beyond the bickering. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Florida Republican urges unity after his vote to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of committee assignments," 4 Feb. 2021 Until someone does, all the timeline bickering or posturing in the world means very little. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Jeff Bezos Is Backing an Ancient Kind of Nuclear Fusion," 25 Jan. 2021 The relationship feels convincing from the very first shot, continuing through the charming repartee and gentle bickering which somehow avoids drifting into cliché. Liam Hess, Vogue, "Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci Star in Supernova, a Timeless, Transcendent Love Story," 31 Jan. 2021 Josephine Bailey narrates the book in a low, friendly voice, marvelously in tune with the sheep's philosophy of life, their frequent bafflement, occasional bickering and dedication to justice. Katherine A. Powers Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Bookmark: When these animals talk, listen," 15 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for bickering

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The first known use of bickering was in 1573

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Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bickering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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