fist·​i·​cuff | \ ˈfistə̇ˌkəf, -tēˌ- \
plural -s

Definition of fisticuff

1 : a blow with the fist or hand
2 fisticuffs plural but singular or plural in construction : a fight with the fists : boxing intervillage or camp disputes were settled by fisticuffs— R. P. Schaedel

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of fisticuff

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fisticuff

alteration of earlier fisty cuff, from fisty + cuff (blow)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fisticuff

Time Traveler for fisticuff

Time Traveler

The first known use of fisticuff was in 1600

See more words from the same year

Statistics for fisticuff

Cite this Entry

“Fisticuff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

Comments on fisticuff

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!