fighting word


: a word likely to provoke a fight

Examples of fighting word in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Immediately reconsolidation became a fighting word. Kat McGowan, Discover Magazine, 31 July 2010 To white workers like Mr. Hoskins anxious over their loss of economic and social status, and eager to hear fighting words on their behalf, Mr. Trump — an unusual Republican with a populist message — was an ally. New York Times, 27 Jan. 2020 But that is a fighting word — a fighting spelling — for Ukrainians. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 10 Dec. 2019 In fact, these were fighting words: barely disguised and directed at certain Democratic rivals. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2019 Perception becomes reality, so, to McMahon, those were fighting words. Dan Gartland,, 18 Oct. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fighting word.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1917, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fighting word was in 1917

Dictionary Entries Near fighting word

Cite this Entry

“Fighting word.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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