from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small square, or lozenge, or diamond; a tile or pane of a square or lozenge form.
  • noun A bolt or arrow having a square or four-edged head, especially a crossbow-bolt of such form.
  • noun An instrument with a head shaped like that of the crossbow-bolt.
  • noun A quarry where stone is cut.
  • To find cause of complaint; find fault; cavil.
  • To dispute angrily or violently; contend; squabble.
  • To disagree; be incongruous or incompatible; fail to be in accordance, in form or essence
  • Synonyms To jangle, bicker, spar.
  • To find fault with; challenge; reprove, as a fault, error, and the like.
  • To disagree or contend with.
  • To affect, by quarreling, in a manner indicated by a word or words connected: as, to quarrel a man out of his estate or rights.
  • noun A complaint; a lament; lamentation.
  • noun An accusation; in law, a complaint; an action, real or personal.
  • noun Cause, occasion, or motive of complaint, objection, dispute, contention, or debate; the basis or ground of being at variance with another; hence, the cause or side of a certain party at variance with another.
  • noun Cause in general; reason; plea; ground.
  • noun Altercation; an altercation; an angry dispute; a wrangle; a brawl.
  • noun A breach of friendship or concord; open variance between parties; a feud.
  • noun A quarreler.
  • noun Synonyms and Quarrel, Altercation, Affray, Fray, Mêlée, Brawl, Broil, Scuffle, Wrangle, Squabble, Feud. A quarrel is a matter of ill feeling and hard words in view of supposed wrong: it stops just short of blows; any use beyond this is now figurative. Altercation is the spoken part of a quarrel, the parties speaking alternately. An altercation is thus a quarrelsome dispute between two persons or two sides. Affray and fray express a quarrel that has come to blows in a public place: they are often used of the struggles of war, implying personal activity. Mêlée emphasizes the confusion in which those engaged in an affray or struggle are mingled. Brawl emphasizes the unbecoming character and noisiness of the quarrel; while broil adds the idea of entanglement, perhaps with several: two are enough for a brawl; at least three are needed for a broil: as, a brawl with a neighbor; a neighborhood broil. A scuffle is, in this connection, a confused or undignified struggle, at close quarters, between two, to throw each other down, or a similar struggle of many. A wrangle is a severe, unreasoning, and noisy, perhaps confused, altercation. A squabble is a petty wrangle, but is even less dignified or irrational. A feud is a deeply rooted animosity between two sets of kindred, two parties, or possibly two persons. See animosity.

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

  • transitive verb rare To quarrel with.
  • transitive verb To compel by a quarrel.
  • noun One who quarrels or wrangles; one who is quarrelsome.
  • noun A breach of concord, amity, or obligation; a falling out; a difference; a disagreement; an antagonism in opinion, feeling, or conduct; esp., an angry dispute, contest, or strife; a brawl; an altercation.
  • noun Ground of objection, dislike, difference, or hostility; cause of dispute or contest; occasion of altercation.
  • noun obsolete Earnest desire or longing.
  • noun See under Pick, v. t.
  • intransitive verb To violate concord or agreement; to have a difference; to fall out; to be or become antagonistic.
  • intransitive verb To dispute angrily, or violently; to wrangle; to scold; to altercate; to contend; to fight.
  • intransitive verb To find fault; to cavil.
  • noun obsolete An arrow for a crossbow; -- so named because it commonly had a square head.
  • noun (Arch.) Any small square or quadrangular member.
  • noun A square of glass, esp. when set diagonally.
  • noun A small opening in window tracery, of which the cusps, etc., make the form nearly square.
  • noun A square or lozenge-shaped paving tile.
  • noun A glazier's diamond.
  • noun A four-sided cutting tool or chisel having a diamond-shaped end.

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

  • noun A verbal dispute or heated argument.
  • noun A ground of dispute; a complaint
  • verb To disagree.
  • verb To contend, argue strongly, squabble.
  • verb To find fault.
  • noun A diamond-shaped piece of coloured glass forming part of a stained glass window.
  • noun A square tile; quarry tile
  • noun A square-headed arrow for a crossbow.

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

  • verb have a disagreement over something
  • noun an arrow that is shot from a crossbow; has a head with four edges
  • noun an angry dispute


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French querele (modern French querelle), itself from Latin querella ("complaint"), from queror ("I lament, I complain").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English as "square-headed bolt for a crossbow" c.1225, from Old French quarel (also quarrel or carreau; modern: querelle), from Vulgar Latin *quadrellus, the diminutive of Latin quadrus ("a square"), related to quattuor "four".


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  • (noun) - (1) A square of window glass, properly one placed diagonally; anciently, a diamond-shaped pane of glass. Hence the cant term, quarrel-picker, a glazier. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855 (2) Adopted from Old French quarrel, medieval Latin quadrus, a square. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1914 (3) This old word is still sometimes heard in New England among the illiterate. --John Pickering's Vocabulary of the United States, 1816

    January 27, 2018

  • Quite endearing attempt by TCD to define synonyms.

    July 28, 2021