fighting words

noun plural

fight·​ing words
: words which by their very utterance are likely to inflict harm on or provoke a breach of the peace by the average person to whom they are directed

Note: Fighting words are not protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Dictionary Entries Near fighting words

Cite this Entry

“Fighting words.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/fighting%20words. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY