squabble

noun
squab·​ble | \ˈskwä-bəl \

Definition of squabble 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a noisy altercation or quarrel usually over petty matters

squabble

verb
squabbled; squabbling\ˈskwä-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

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 \ 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 company said Lebanon's internal squabbles do not affect how long the Esra Sultan would stay in Lebanon. Philip Issa, Fox News, "A goodwill gesture over electricity sows discord in Lebanon," 10 Aug. 2018 In the aftermath of the ranch raid and squabbles with Utah state officials about managing a land trust that encompasses much of Hildale, Utah, church members now appear to have scattered more widely. Krista Johnson, USA TODAY, "This son of prophet Warren Jeffs has 54 brothers and sisters. Yet the former FLDS church member felt alone.," 8 Apr. 2018 Still, there remains a genuine fear — perhaps slightly allayed now following Washington and Pyongyang’s diplomatic thaw — that the leaders might escalate their public squabble into a nuclear conflict. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 Officials from both parties have pledged to respect EU rules limiting deficits, after government squabbles and threats to break EU rules on fiscal discipline led to heavy selloffs of Italian bonds over the summer. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italy Faces Crunch Time on Budget," 19 Sep. 2018 Another neighbor who saw their squabble did it for her. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., chicagotribune.com, "Viral videos raise concerns about everyday racial profiling," 1 June 2018 But in each of those squabbles, AIPAC came close to winning, which burnished its image. Jonathan Broder, Newsweek, "How the Iran Nuclear Deal Weakened AIPAC, Washington’s Most Powerful Interest Group," 1 Sep. 2015 The sand squabble is hardly unusual in Del Mar, where attorneys representing wealthy property owners frequently face off over seawall disputes, land-use policies, dog-leash laws, and who gets free use of the community center. Phil Diehl, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Mansion owner taking sand squabble to ballot box," 4 July 2018 To Poroshenko, who came to power in 2014 after violent protests ousted his pro-Moscow predecessor, Ukraine's ecclesiastic independence is not just a matter of squabbles of elderly, long-bearded men with archaic names. Mansur Mirovalev, latimes.com, "In battle between Russia and Ukraine, even God is in dispute," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 This only adds to the tensions that already exist in the group, which includes squabbling twins, a secret informant and not one but two mothers whose daughters are being cyber-bullied. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Disappearing Acts: A Shelf of Missing-Person Mysteries," 2 Mar. 2018 During a recent interview in the Afghan capital Kabul, political analyst Haroon Mir said international pressure is all that holds Afghanistan's squabbling politicians together. Fox News, "Russian peace talks raise specter of shifting influence," 25 Aug. 2018 While interest groups squabble over whether more or less regulation is the answer, people suffer. Todd H. Baker And, WSJ, "A Better Alternative to Payday Loans," 13 May 2018 Both the Ecuadorean and Colombian governments have tried to limit the fallout from the kidnapping, with officials in both countries denying the men were being held inside their territory and even squabbling over Guacho’s supposed nationality. Washington Post, "Ecuador’s president confirms journalists killed along border," 13 Apr. 2018 The presidential election, normally held late in the year, has been moved forward to the spring, leaving Maduro’s squabbling opponents little time to prepare. Washington Post, "Pragmatic candidate livens up Venezuela’s presidential race," 5 Mar. 2018 Former President Vicente Fox notably squabbled with both Cuba and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez over their human rights records. Scott Smith, Fox News, "Mexico's new president could help ease pressure on Venezuela," 9 July 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

9 Dec 2018

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 \

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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