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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That union dissolved in a nasty and public divorce squabble that finally ended in May 1995, in the middle of Iacocca’s bid to take over Chrysler with Kerkorian. Charlotte W. Craig, Detroit Free Press, "Lee Iacocca dies: Father of Mustang, rescuer of Chrysler was 94," 2 July 2019 The now-infamous battle of the Lukes kicked into high gear after Luke S. and Luke P. got into a squabble during a rugby game (yes, really) during which the former claims the latter lifted him off the ground and body-slammed him. Cait Munro, refinery29.com, "Does Luke S. From The Bachelorette Even Have A Tequila Brand?," 5 June 2019 In Australia, a leadership squabble in the ruling coalition is threatening the conservative government’s fragile hold on power. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "Analysts Grow Gloomier About Profit Outlook in Asia," 23 Aug. 2018 At points during the debate candidates warned that Republicans were being aided by the party's squabbles over health care, criminal justice reform and issues of race. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, "Texan Julian Castro helps lead blistering attack on Joe Biden during Democratic presidential debate," 31 July 2019 The package, negotiated largely between Mnuchin and Pelosi (D-San Francisco), marks one of the few and most significant bipartisan legislative accomplishments in this Congress, which has been marred by partisan squabbles. Los Angeles Times, "House approves two-year deal to raise debt ceiling and increase government spending," 25 July 2019 Liberalism and progressivism have few philosophical constraints on striking while the political iron is hot, so internal squabbles over substantive policy matters are less likely. WSJ, "No Tea Party on the Democrats’ Left Wing," 12 Sep. 2018 Would average Americans want to watch a proxy for the uber-rich Murdoch family squabble over who gets slightly more millions of dollars? Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: HBO can't succeed with corporate media-family drama 'Succession'," 31 May 2018 Reality real estate shows depend on family squabbles to create exciting storylines. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Country Living, "Ladies' Home Journal Predicted America's Future Obsession with Real-Estate Reality TV In 1903," 14 July 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Willis and the exiled group members have squabbled publicly over rights to the Village People name. Allison Stewart, chicagotribune.com, "The Village People wars have ended, and Victor Willis is back, doing the policeman thing at Riot Fest," 12 Sep. 2019 As an illustration of the behind-the-scenes squabbling Saturday, one administration official said the Pentagon thwarted agreed-upon plans in Iran by using backchannels to provide Mr. Trump with inaccurate estimates of casualties. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, "Trump Bucked National-Security Aides on Proposed Iran Attack," 23 June 2019 In various forms, the dispute had been playing out until recently in a local probate court before judges accustomed to squabbling over inheritances. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Deaths in Entertainment Become Problems for the Federal Judiciary," 22 Aug. 2019 Age already a punching bag Biden and Trump, who turns 73 on Friday, have already squabbled about age in the early going of the campaign. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Trump vs. Biden in Iowa: Septuagenarian rivals try to demonstrate vigor in head-to-head stops," 17 Apr. 2019 For six months, no government was formed, as the two camps squabbled over who would get which ministries. The Economist, "How do you reform a country where gunmen torch Ebola clinics?," 2 Aug. 2019 But those who do might take notice, and stop squabbling about the finer points. Dana Milbank, The Mercury News, "Milbank: Williamson won’t win, but to all 2020 hopefuls: Take note," 31 July 2019 There was the debt that led to foreclosure on his Neverland ranch, the prosthetic nose, the questions around who would control his estate as his family squabbled. Courtney E. Smith, refinery29.com, "10 Years After Michael Jackson’s Death, The King Of Pop’s Legacy Is In Shambles," 25 June 2019 In addition to haggling over the content of a deal, the two sides are also squabbling over how any new rules would be enforced. Anna Fifield, Anchorage Daily News, "China warns of retaliatory measures after Trump threatens new tariffs," 2 Aug. 2019

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

2 Sep 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 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

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

miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!