Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To engage in a disagreeable argument, usually over a trivial matter; wrangle. See Synonyms at argue.
  • n. A noisy quarrel, usually about a trivial matter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A minor fight or argument as between children, for example.
  • v. To participate in a minor fight or argument.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To contend for superiority in an unseemly manner; to scuffle; to struggle; to wrangle; to quarrel.
  • intransitive v. To debate peevishly; to dispute.
  • transitive v. To disarrange, so that the letters or lines stand awry or are mixed and need careful readjustment; -- said of type that has been set up.
  • n. A scuffle; a wrangle; a brawl.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To engage in a noisy quarrel or row; wrangle; quarrel and fight noisily; brawl; scuffle.
  • Synonyms To jangle. See quarrel, n.
  • In printing, to disarrange andmix (lines of composed types) when they are standing on their feet.
  • n. A wrangle; a dispute; a brawl; a scuffle; a noisy quarrel.
  • n. Synonyms Brawl, Wrangle, etc. See quarrel.

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

  • n. a quarrel about petty points
  • v. argue over petty things

Etymologies

Probably of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably of North Germanic origin, related to Swedish dialectal skvabbel ("a dispute, quarrel, gossip"), Norwegian dialectal skvabba ("to prattle"), German dialectal schwabbeln ("to babble, prattle"), Swedish dialectal skvappa ("to chide, scold", literally "make a splash"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "the title squabble between the Saints and the Colts."

    Aspen Times - Top Stories

  • The current squabble is nothing new, but it could herald far-reaching change: The U.K. government has pledged to extricate itself from the unedifying annual spectacle by removing the role of the secretary of state from determining the levy scheme, and there is a sense that this represents an opportunity to remodel the levy with a viable commercial mechanism.

    Jockeying Over Horseracing Funding

  • There's a custody squabble, which is not helped by possible future deployments and MEU's.

    Andrew Lubin: Semper Fi and Always Faithful

  • NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I know it is being characterized as a squabble, Larry, but I think the bottom line is that every victim's family -- and I'm speaking not just as a former prosecutor but as a victim of violent crime -- every victim's family wants that case to go forward, and they want to make sure that their loved ones 'case is protected.

    CNN Transcript Oct 28, 2002

  • One-Eye mentions that whenever they get into a squabble, which is about as often as there is an audience but nobody to get between them.

    Water Sleeps

  • He mentions it whenever he and One-Eye get into a squabble, which is about as often as they see one another.

    Water Sleeps

  • "I need my whole crew if we are to get the accursed things to the mouth of the Zaporoska in the time specified, and the only two who have heeded my call squabble like dockers with their heads full of wine."

    Conan The Victorious

  • Another important factor that led to the squabble was the rumoured intention of deputy president Peter Nyarok to resign to pave the way for treasurer Tiong King Sing to take over during the party's triennial general assembly last December.

    SARA - Southeast Asian RSS Aggregator

  • Pepall, who has been overseeing Canwest's court-directed creditor protection, called the squabble over the terms of the sale "ridiculous" and sent lawyers for Canwest and the ad hoc committee of noteholders behind closed doors to reach an agreement early Tuesday morning.

    Ottawa Sun

  • There ` s been a kind of squabble over that book that ` s ongoing.

    Why Read?

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