fighting word


Definition of fighting word

: a word likely to provoke a fight

Examples of fighting word in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But that is a fighting word — a fighting spelling — for Ukrainians. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "A Name of One’s Own: Ukraine Journal, Part I," 10 Dec. 2019 In fact, these were fighting words: barely disguised and directed at certain Democratic rivals. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "2020 Democratic Candidates Wage Escalating Fight (on the Merits of Fighting)," 30 Nov. 2019 Perception becomes reality, so, to McMahon, those were fighting words. Dan Gartland,, "The Week in Wrestling: The Latest on Neville’s Situation and the Bullet Club’s Feud With WWE," 18 Oct. 2017

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

1917, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for fighting word

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The first known use of fighting word was in 1917

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Statistics for fighting word

Last Updated

20 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fighting word.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on fighting word

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fighting word

Comments on fighting word

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


to assert without proof or before proving

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