bick·​er·​ing | \ ˈbi-k(ə-)riŋ \

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

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 The constant bickering is testing the patience of German voters, according to opinion polls, and the SPD is suffering the most for it. Andrea Thomas, WSJ, "German Coalition Party Pulls Out of Deal on Spy Chief," 21 Sep. 2018 After months of bickering, the two prize fighters have agreed to terms and will finally square off on Sept. 15. Rick Maese,, "Last-ditch efforts revive Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez rematch for Sept. 15 in Las Vegas," 14 June 2018 Others had ordinary teenage plans ahead — for Xbox and tennis games, for bickering with siblings, for a new bedroom. Julie Bosman, New York Times, "Santa Fe School Shooting Victims: Here Are Their Stories," 19 May 2018 All the bickering was certainly not conducive for the performance of the team., "Ilkay Gundogan Believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Move to Arsenal Could Damage Borussia Dortmund," 7 Feb. 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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Dictionary Entries near bickering







Bickford fuse

Statistics for bickering

Last Updated

11 Feb 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

Comments on bickering

What made you want to look up bickering? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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