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 leading Democratic candidate, Reverend Raphael Warnock, has benefited from the internecine squabble among the Republicans, and may be one of the two top vote-getters to proceed to a runoff. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Senate races 2020: Which seats could flip and determine the balance of power?," 3 Nov. 2020 On Friday morning, some gyms and dine-in restaurants still opened amid the squabble between the two officials. Silvia Foster-frau, ExpressNews.com, "‘Hard to survive’ — El Paso residents besieged by coronavirus," 3 Nov. 2020 Get ready to read the most insane rich-people neighbor squabble of all time. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Arts: A White House that is — literally — all facade," 31 Oct. 2020 But after donning what looked like a homemade protective suit at the official sewer dedication ceremony, Oliver took a positive spin on the squabble. NBC News, "New rules for the last debate and Supreme Court weighs in on Pennsylvania ballot count," 20 Oct. 2020 The emptiness of the room only made the sharpness of the candidates' verbal slugfest, which often took the tone of a schoolyard squabble, more notable. Katelyn Umholtz, NOLA.com, "How did the 1st presidential debate go? It veered from 'How you doing?' to 'Will you shut up?'," 29 Sep. 2020 The two candidates may have spent the debate in an irrelevant squabble over Quemoy and Matsu (two tiny islands off the coast of China), but at least there were no problems with the split-screen technology. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Biden Should Be Worried," 2 Oct. 2020 The squabble raises fresh questions about the fragility of a deal that President Trump signed off on in principle over the weekend, seemingly saving the popular video-sharing app from extinction in the U.S. ... Georgia Wells, WSJ, "TikTok and Oracle Spar Over Ownership, Threatening Deal," 21 Sep. 2020 Then there was a second-quarter squabble between Dwyane Wade and Gary Payton during a Game 4 loss against Chicago after a bad Wade pass to Payton. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde5: The fracas in Celtics postgame locker room, Heat’s 3rd quarters — five thoughts on Game 2 win," 18 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Often, spectators catch a confluence of ravens and magpies that swoop in to squabble for the same fish. Jenna Kunze, Smithsonian Magazine, "Behold America’s Largest Congregation of Bald Eagles," 3 Nov. 2020 Economists always squabble over how precisely to measure the jobless rate. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Dollar up, stocks down as curfews, COVID and underwhelming corporate results spook investors," 15 Oct. 2020 Even now, humanitarian rescue boats in the Mediterranean are often stuck for days or weeks as countries squabble over whether to accept the boat at port — and what to do with the migrants who arrive. Washington Post, "E.U. proposes immigration deal that would require countries to take a share of asylum-seekers or assist in deportations," 23 Sep. 2020 While the Bowlen children squabble like spoiled brats about the fate of a $3 billion business their late father built, unemployed Coloradans worry coronavirus might kill any hope of finding a job. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: In America’s 2020, Kareem Jackson knows a real hero can no longer just stick to sports — and neither can we," 2 June 2020 When food is available in small areas, the brighter birds are more likely to squabble and push other members of the flock around. Fox News, "Nasty in pink: Flamingos with brighter feathers are more aggressive than others, study says," 11 June 2020 His government’s plan for another 55 billion euros ($60 billion) of spending to keep companies and families afloat also seemed to take an age to get approved by a squabbling cabinet. John Follain, Bloomberg.com, "Conte's Chameleon Act Gives Him Staying Power in Italian Crisis," 19 May 2020 Stimulus package not set in stone Lawmakers in D.C. continued to squabble over a stimulus package aimed at saving an economy in free fall. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Coronavirus in Ohio, Kentucky: Stay-at-home order, nonessential businesses, what stores are open, Rand Paul, stimulus," 23 Mar. 2020 The other residents include Mr. and Mrs. Burke (Marc Kudisch and Luba Mason), a squabbling couple of ambiguous provenance, and their son, Elias (Todd Almond), a grown-up with the mind of a child. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "‘Girl From the North Country’ Review: Bob Dylan’s Amazing Grace," 5 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for squabble

Time Traveler

The first known use of squabble was in 1602

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Statistics for squabble

Last Updated

10 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Squabble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squabble. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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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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Comments on squabble

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