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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 With the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting at the end of the week, the squabble is between the organization’s leader, Saudi Arabia, and three of the cartel’s five fellow-founding members, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Ignore the OPEC Drama, More Oil Is Coming," 18 June 2018 But Bratislava—long caught up in the squabbles of other empires—has a fragile, mournful beauty all its own. Tara Isabella Burton, WSJ, "Escape to Bratislava: A Secret Charmer on the Danube," 18 Sep. 2018 The couple’s squabbles divided supporters of Diana from a much smaller group of supporters of Charles, and provided the tabloid press with a rich (and sickening) diet of gossip. The Economist, "The monarchy is at its strongest in years, unlike the government," 19 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about squabble

Statistics for squabble

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for squabble

The first known use of squabble was in 1602

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on squabble

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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