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Middle English braule, brall "brawl, squabble" from braulen, brallen "to clamour, boast, quarrel". Compare Middle High German prālen "to boast, flaunt" (German prahlen "to vaunt, boast, flaunt"), Low German brallen "to brag", Dutch brallen "to boast", Danish bralle "chatter, jabber".


Rhymes: -ɔːl


Bauernrauferei beim Kartenspiel (Smallholders Playing Cards, c. 1630–1640) by Flemish painter Adriaen Brouwer

brawl (plural brawls)

  1. A fight, usually with a large number of people involved.
    • 2017 January 26, Christopher D. Shea, “T2 Trainspotting’: The Early Reviews”, in New York Time[1]:
      Ewan McGregor is back as the lead character, Renton, perhaps best remembered for his visit in the first film to the “Worst Toilet in Scotland.” Robert Carlyle appears as Begbie, who starts brawls with almost anyone who crosses his path; Ewen Bremner returns as the dimwitted Spud, who, in the first movie, has a memorable job interview while high on speed; and Jonny Lee Miller is back as Sick Boy, now known as Simon.



brawl (third-person singular simple present brawls, present participle brawling, simple past and past participle brawled)

  1. To engage in a brawl; to fight or quarrel.
  2. To complain loudly; to scold.
  3. To make a loud confused noise, as the water of a rapid stream running over stones.
    • Wordsworth
      where the brook brawls along the painful road