noun, often capitalized
don·​ny·​brook | \ ˈdä-nē-ˌbru̇k How to pronounce donnybrook (audio) \

Definition of donnybrook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a usually public quarrel or dispute


geographical name
Don·​ny·​brook | \ ˈdä-nē-ˌbru̇k How to pronounce Donnybrook (audio) \

Definition of Donnybrook (Entry 2 of 2)

city in the province of Leinster, eastern Ireland

Note: Donnybrook is a southeastern suburb of Dublin.

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Synonyms for donnybrook

Synonyms: Noun

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Did You Know?

The Donnybrook Fair was an annual event held in Donnybrook-then a suburb of Dublin, Ireland-from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The fair was legendary for the vast quantities of liquor consumed there, for the number of hasty marriages performed during the week following it, and, most of all, for the frequent brawls that erupted throughout it. Eventually, the fair's reputation for tumult was its undoing. From the 1790s on there were campaigns against the drunken brawl the fair had become. The event was abolished in 1855, but not before its name had become a generic term for a free-for-all.

Examples of donnybrook in a Sentence

Noun A donnybrook has erupted over the court's decision. a dozen people were arrested after the donnybrook at the stadium
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On top of this, the legislatures appointing electors would trigger a historic donnybrook in Congress, which considers objections to electoral ballots under the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Completely Insane Electoral College Strategy," 13 Nov. 2020 The other Senate race in Georgia is a donnybrook featuring eight Democrats, six Republicans, five independents, and one from the Libertarian and Green Party. al, "Are Doug Jones, Alabama Democrats missing out on possible Democratic revival in the South?," 27 Oct. 2020 The first donnybrook: Is defensive tackle Trysten Hill fighting for a roster spot in 2020? Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Cowboys camp observations: Dallas’ defensive groups finding early success in workouts," 16 Aug. 2020 In 2017, George became involved in a political donnybrook in his back yard, with Cleveland City Council. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Householder ally Tony George contributed campaign contributions, support for FirstEnergy," 10 Aug. 2020 The Republican race to face Stevens, in a district that includes western Wayne County and parts of southeastern Oakland County, is more of a donnybrook. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Crowded fields of newcomers vie to chance to face Reps. Slotkin, Stevens in November," 30 July 2020 The donnybrook over Denka is hardly the first time the DEQ has found itself at odds with the EPA while defending a big Louisiana industry. Gordon Russell, ProPublica, "In “Cancer Alley,” Toxic Polluters Face Little Oversight From Environmental Regulators," 19 Dec. 2019 In the fourth quarter, Owens catches another TD pass and tried to repeat his early stand, but Dallas safety and former Bama star George Teague knocks him off, setting off a donnybrook. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Alabama 200: State’s sports history littered with amazing, memorable moments," 27 Nov. 2019 But the defensive aggressiveness did lead to a donnybrook where Lopez was ejected — an incident that will carry a suspension for Pomona’s next game. Jake Shapiro, The Denver Post, "Pomona runs past Legend to advance in 5A state playoffs," 15 Nov. 2019

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


1852, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for donnybrook


Donnybrook Fair, annual Irish event known for its brawls

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The first known use of donnybrook was in 1852

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Cite this Entry

“Donnybrook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for donnybrook


How to pronounce Donnybrook (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of donnybrook

: a public argument
: an uncontrolled fight

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