Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To engage in a bad-tempered quarrel, often in a petty manner over something trivial; squabble. synonym: argue.
  • intransitive verb To flicker or glitter.
  • intransitive verb To move or flow with a rippling or gurgling sound.
  • noun An angry quarrel; a squabble.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A bowl or dish for containing liquor, properly one made of wood; a drinking-cup; also, specifically, in many parts of Scotland, a wooden dish made of staves and hoops, like a tub, for holding food.
  • To exchange blows; skirmish; fight off and on: said particularly of the skirmishing of archers and slingers.
  • To quarrel; contend in words; engage in petulant altercation; wrangle.
  • Hence —3. To make a brawling sound; make any repeated noisy action; clatter.
  • To run rapidly; move quickly; quiver; be tremulous, like flame or water.
  • To make a short rapid run.
  • To strike repeatedly.
  • noun A fight, especially a confused fight.
  • noun A quarrel; an angry dispute; an altercation.
  • noun A confused or rapid succession of sounds; a rattling or clattering noise.
  • noun A short rapid run or race; a staggering run, as from loss of equilibrium.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To skirmish; to exchange blows; to fight.
  • intransitive verb To contend in petulant altercation; to wrangle.
  • intransitive verb To move quickly and unsteadily, or with a pattering noise; to quiver; to be tremulous, like flame.
  • noun obsolete A skirmish; an encounter.
  • noun Scot. A fight with stones between two parties of boys.
  • noun A wrangle; also, a noise,, as in angry contention.
  • noun Prov. Eng. A small wooden vessel made of staves and hoops, like a tub.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To quarrel in a tiresome, insulting manner.
  • verb To move tremulously, quiver, shimmer (of a water stream, of a flame)
  • noun A skirmish; an encounter.
  • noun Scotland, obsolete A fight with stones between two parties of boys.
  • noun A wrangle; also, a noise, as in angry contention.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb argue over petty things
  • noun a quarrel about petty points

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bikeren, to attack.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English bikeren ‘to attack’, from Middle Dutch bicken ‘to stab, attack’ (modern bikken ‘to hack’), from Proto-Germanic *bikjanan (compare Old English becca ‘pickax’, German picken ‘to peck, pick at’, Old Norse bikkja ‘to plunge into water’), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeg- ‘to smash, break’.

Examples

  • After a season spent clamoring at the door for admission like the rest of the rabble, Kennedy, a svelte, self-assured African-American sophomore with straight, shoulder-length hair and a fondness for cable-knit sweaters, had recently emerged from Ivy's Darwinian "bicker" process — a prim rendition of rush — as one of the chosen few: a member of the club.

    Black in the Age of Obama

  • But to all of a sudden for them to "bicker", Wright does his thing on other networks, while Obama is able to distance himself from him during conferences.

    Obama On Wright: "I Might Not Know Him As Well As I Thought"

  • What Obama -- and TPM readers here trying to convince us to "keep our eye on the ball" and stay united rather than "bicker" internall -- needs to understand is: the Presidential election is a done deal.

    Why Obama's Support For FISA Cave-In Is Such A Downer

  • They had a process like "bicker" and they chose people that they thought fit in with the group.

    CNN Transcript Jan 10, 2006

  • Walter Scott was all but a dunce when a boy, always much readier for a "bicker," than apt at his lessons.

    Self help; with illustrations of conduct and perseverance

  • Among the passions of this literary "bicker," which Scott allowed to amuse him, was Davie Deans conceived.

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete

  • With such efforts, however, considerable as they were for a boy who passionately loved a "bicker" in the streets and who was famed among his comrades for bravery in climbing the perilous "kittle nine stanes" on Castle Rock, he was not content.

    Lady of the Lake

  • Among the passions of this literary "bicker," which Scott allowed to amuse him, was Davie Deans conceived.

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Volume 1

  • And still the candidates pontificate and debate, and their supporters bicker about nonsense in the comments bit under videos on YouTube.

    Current Affairs

  • So I think you guys SHOULD bicker about nonsensical horseshit.

    Matthew Yglesias » Olivier Blanchard on the Case for Higher Inflation

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