squabble

noun
squab·​ble | \ ˈskwä-bəl How to pronounce squabble (audio) \

Definition of squabble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a noisy altercation or quarrel usually over petty matters

squabble

verb
squabbled; squabbling\ ˈskwä-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce squabbling (audio) \

Definition of squabble (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to quarrel noisily and usually over petty matters

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Other Words from squabble

Verb

squabbler \ ˈskwä-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce squabbler (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for squabble

Noun

quarrel, wrangle, altercation, squabble mean a noisy dispute usually marked by anger. quarrel implies heated verbal contention, stressing strained or severed relations which may persist beyond the contention. a quarrel nearly destroyed the relationship wrangle suggests undignified and often futile disputation with a noisy insistence on differing opinions. wrangle interminably about small issues altercation implies fighting with words as the chief weapon, although it may also connote blows. a loud public altercation squabble stresses childish and unseemly dispute over petty matters, but it need not imply bitterness or anger. a brief squabble over what to do next

Examples of squabble in a Sentence

Noun

frightened by noise of the squabble, the cat hid under the couch

Verb

The children were squabbling over the toys. the children squabbled loudly over who got to play with the toy first
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The first two rules were passed down to owner Omar Romero by a mentor aiming to avoid unnecessary squabbles in his shop. Matthew Kitchen, WSJ, "Cut That Out: 11 Rules of Barbershop Etiquette," 14 Mar. 2019 Villano packs a cooler of snacks but recommends separating everything into individual reusable containers beforehand, with equal amounts of each snack for each child, to ward off the squabbles over who gets what. Mari-jane Williams, chicagotribune.com, "Finding the fun in a family road trip," 20 June 2018 Democrats nationally were generally on the defense, and intraparty squabbles, though significant, didn’t necessarily engage the mass public. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Netroots Nation, explained," 2 Aug. 2018 Although the Democrats' squabbles have been more public and contentious than Republicans', council members on both sides of the aisle have become frustrated with how the council has functioned in recent weeks. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "From triumph to collapse: Stephen Clay’s 6 weeks as Indianapolis council president," 15 Feb. 2018 There are values that transcend partisan politics and unite people over squabbles about issues of social life and morality. Julia Azari, Vox, "Collins’ speech shows that the guardrails were the problem all along," 6 Oct. 2018 Block out the squabble between showgoers convinced they’ve been assigned to the same seat. Maya Singer, Vogue, "I Took Bangladeshi Photographer Activist Taslima Akhter to New York Fashion Week—Here’s What Happened," 5 Oct. 2018 In the first episode, the neighborhood squabbles turn physical again and again. Anna North, Vox, "My Brilliant Friend pulls back the curtain on women’s lives. What it reveals is dark and violent.," 20 Nov. 2018 That prompted the victim to show Washburn proof that the song was, in fact, part of Mars’ catalog, but instead of defusing the argument, the sound squabble went to another level when Washburn pulled out a .38-caliber revolver, deputies said. Fox News, "Man accused of pistol-whipping longtime friend over Bruno Mars song," 25 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Wolff’s book paints Trump as a buffoon who doesn’t read, can’t settle on political priorities and is unable to manage a warring cast of advisers who spend their days squabbling and undermining each other and the president. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "Trump lawyer seeks to block insider book on White House," 4 Jan. 2018 The rejection leaves the U.K. facing the stark prospect of a chaotic departure from the EU in just two weeks — unless squabbling politicians can put aside their differences and engineer a long delay in the process of leaving the bloc. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "Britain faces calls for unity govt amid Brexit impasse," 31 Mar. 2019 The trial scene implodes, first as the clans squabble among themselves, and then as an unexplained fire breaks out and engulfs the room. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "15 years later, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is finally happening," 21 Mar. 2019 But most of the parties are squabbling about who gets to carry that banner — resulting in a confusing mess. Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, "In Hungary, Disunity and Gerrymandering Frustrate Anti-Orban Voters," 25 Mar. 2018 Democratic and Republican leaders with knowledge of Russia’s activities squabbled over whether and how to inform the public. Emily Stewart, Vox, "After Mueller’s Russian indictments, Trump returns to a familiar line: blame Obama," 14 July 2018 Nearby vineyards have squabbled over the right to use the image on wine labels, and the story has even inspired a comic opera. Mark A. Walsh, New York Times, "A Botched Statue Restoration in Spain: Is That St. George or Tintin?," 26 June 2018 This can’t be ruled out: Mrs. May’s deal could easily be rejected by squabbling politicians in the U.K.’s febrile political climate. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Why Global Finance Stopped Shouting About Brexit," 26 Nov. 2018 But that doesn't mean Beatrice and Eugenie don't squabble like any other pair of sisters. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice Discuss Being Royals With Day Jobs," 2 Aug. 2018

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

Noun

1602, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for squabble

Noun

probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish dialect skvabbel dispute

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Statistics for squabble

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for squabble

The first known use of squabble was in 1602

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More Definitions for squabble

squabble

verb

English Language Learners Definition of squabble

: to argue loudly about things that are not important

squabble

noun
squab·​ble | \ ˈskwä-bəl How to pronounce squabble (audio) \

Kids Definition of squabble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a noisy quarrel usually over something unimportant

squabble

verb
squabbled; squabbling

Kids Definition of squabble (Entry 2 of 2)

: to quarrel noisily for little or no reason

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More from Merriam-Webster on squabble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with squabble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for squabble

Spanish Central: Translation of squabble

Nglish: Translation of squabble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of squabble for Arabic Speakers

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