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.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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