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

And, despite the coalition’s inevitable bickering, that restoration has a good chance of working out. The Economist, "At last, a cause to unite all Malaysia’s ethnic groups," 17 May 2018 For a night, familiar partisan bickering is put aside for singing. Hal Boedeker,, "Fourth of July: Patriotic songs provide needed lift," 5 July 2018 What gets lost in the partisan bickering is the fact that there’s actually broad public support for the goals of the act. Peter S. Alagona, Outside Online, "The Endangered Species Act Needs a Reboot," 9 July 2018 Despite many strong characters, there hasn't been any major bickering or public showing of discontentment even when Zidane had to leave stars such as Benzema or Bale out of the starting lineup. Tales Azzoni,, "Zidane: 'I'm not the best coach, but I have desire and passion'," 23 May 2018 But the conversation turned time and again to bickering between the candidates. Phil Willon,, "High-stakes California governor’s race debate gets testy as personal and political attacks fly," 9 May 2018 That immediately triggered fierce bickering among Republicans and Democrats about whether that was a valid justification, with the committees' GOP leaders raising the possibility of holding Strzok in contempt of Congress. Mike Memoli /, NBC News, "Facing intense GOP criticism, FBI's Strzok says personal views didn't impact decisions," 12 July 2018 But in the past 24 hours, fears about the substance of the meeting have taken a back seat to political bickering about the guest list., "Democrats and Republicans briefed on FBI source who aided Russia probe," 24 May 2018 The San Antonio and South Texas boxing communities, especially among the amateurs, have been one big soap opera characterized as much by jealousy and bickering as outstanding athletes. John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News, "Golden Gloves canceled after sanction request denied," 1 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

23 Sep 2018

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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