plural noun
fist·​i·​cuffs | \ ˈfi-sti-ˌkəfs How to pronounce fisticuffs (audio) \

Definition of fisticuffs

: a fight with the fists

Examples of fisticuffs in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Last week: 6 Result: Beat Cal Poly 45-7 Next up: Open (then vs. Stanford) Comment: One win + no fisticuffs + Jake Luton remaining upright = great day to be a Beaver. *** SOUTH 1. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Power ratings: The case for Cal (yes, Cal) winning the North," 16 Sep. 2019 Amid a sluggish free-agent market, in a winter of player discontent and labor fisticuffs via press release, perhaps no player has been subject to a stranger market than Moustakas. Rustin Dodd, kansascity, "Is anyone interested in Mike Moustakas? | The Kansas City Star," 6 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fisticuffs.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of fisticuffs

1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fisticuffs

alteration of fisty cuff, from fisty fistic + cuff

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fisticuffs

Time Traveler for fisticuffs

Time Traveler

The first known use of fisticuffs was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Statistics for fisticuffs

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fisticuffs.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fisticuffs


How to pronounce fisticuffs (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fisticuffs

old-fashioned : a fight with fists

More from Merriam-Webster on fisticuffs

Spanish Central: Translation of fisticuffs

Nglish: Translation of fisticuffs for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fisticuffs

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


a period of high artistic development

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
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!