- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /bɹɔːl/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /bɹɔl/
- (cot–caught merger) IPA(key): /bɹɑl/
- Rhymes: -ɔːl
The verb is derived from Late Middle English braulen, brall, brallen (“to clamour, to shout; to quarrel; to boast”); further etymology is uncertain, but the word could be related to bray and ultimately imitative. It may be cognate with Danish bralle (“to chatter, jabber”), Dutch brallen (“to boast”), Low German brallen (“to brag”), Middle High German prālen (“to boast, flaunt”) (modern German prahlen (“to boast, flaunt, vaunt”)).
brawl (plural brawls)
- A disorderly argument or fight, usually with a large number of people involved.
- 1874 December 18, John M. Shirley, state reporter, “State v. Rollins”, in Reports of Cases in the Superior Court of Judicature of New Hampshire, volume LV, Concord, N.H.: Published by Josiah B. Sanborn, published 1876, OCLC 11478040, page 102:
- The complaint charged that the defendants, on, etc., at, etc., "in a certain public place, to wit, in a certain school-house in which a singing-school was then and there being held, did make a great brawl and tumult, and stamped their feet on the floor, hissed, used loud and saucy language, and were guilty of rude, indecent, and disorderly conduct."
- 1940 June 21, “Further Statement of Thad H. Brown, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C.”, in Nomination of Thad H. Brown: Hearings before the Committee on Interstate Commerce, United States Senate, Seventy-sixth Congress, Third Session on the Nomination of Thad H. Brown on Reappointment as Federal Communications Commissioner […], Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, OCLC 4200122, page 81:
- It has been reported that an entertainment took place not long ago in a certain "hot spot" in New York City, and it has been charged that members of the Federal Communications Commission were present; that they got into a drunken brawl; and in the brawl some woman was hurt, her arm twisted.
- 2017 January 26, Christopher D. Shea, “‘T2 Trainspotting’: The early reviews”, in The New York Times, New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, ISSN 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363, archived from the original on 21 February 2018:
- Robert Carlyle appears as Begbie, who starts brawls with almost anyone who crosses his path; [...]
- (intransitive) To engage in a brawl; to fight or quarrel.
- c. 1593, [William Shakespeare], The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. […] (First Quarto), London: Printed by Valentine Sims [and Peter Short] for Andrew Wise, […], published 1597, OCLC 55191490, [Act I, scene iii]:
- I doe the wrong, and firſt began to braule / The ſecret miſchiefes that I ſet abroach, / I lay vnto the grieuous charge of others: [...]
- I do the wrong, and am the first to begin to quarrel. / The secret mischiefs that I set afoot, / I blame on others: [...]
- 1676, Henry Cornelius Agrippa [i.e., Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim], “Of Logick”, in The Vanity of Arts and Sciences, London: Printed by J. C. for Samuel Speed, […], OCLC 228722051, page 43:
- Theſe are the deep and profound Myſteries of Artificial Logick, invented with ſo much care by theſe fallacious Doctors, [...] Theſe are the Nets, and theſe are the Hounds with which they hunt the Truth of all things, whether natural, as in Phyſicks; or ſupernatural, as in Metaphyſicks: but according to the Proverb of Clodius and Varro, can never overtake, by reaſon of their bawling and brawling one with another.
- 1716, Humphrey Prideaux, “Book VI”, in The Old and New Testament Connected, in the History of the Jews and Neighbouring Nations, from the Declension of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, to the Time of Christ, part I, volume II, Edinburgh: Printed by D. Schaw & Co., […], published 1799, OCLC 929202903, page 417:
- As long as they [Xanthippe and Myrto, Socrates' wives] diſagreed, they were continually ſcolding, brawling, or fighting, with each other; and whenever they agreed, they both joined in brawling [verb sense 2] at him, and often fell on him with their fiſts as well as with their tongues, and beat him ſoundly.
- 1763, John Henderson, “Sect. XVI. Soliloquy on the Unerring Motions of the Spirit.”, in James Thomson, editor, Divine Meditations and Contemplations, in Prose and Verse, on Some of the Most Important and Interesting Doctrines of Christianity. […], Glasgow: Printed for James Thomson, […], and sold by him […], and by J. Trail, W. Gray, and J. Wood, […]; and by R. Smith, jun. […], OCLC 750606834, page 305:
- [U]pon every trifle, the vitiated faculties of thy ſoul are inflamed with immoderate and moſt irregular paſſion, ſo that thou often brawleſt, and art made thereby to roar like a wild bull caught in a thicket: [...]
- 1842 December – 1844 July, Charles Dickens, chapter XVI, in The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, London: Chapman and Hall, […], published 1844, OCLC 977517776, page 207:
- One who rides at all hazards of limb and life in the chase of a fox, will prefer to ride recklessly at most times. So it was with these gentlemen. He was the greatest patriot, in their eyes, who brawled the loudest, and who cared the least for decency.
- (intransitive) To create a disturbance; to complain loudly.
- [1430–1440, “XXX. The Tapiteres and Couchers. The Dream of Pilate’s Wife: Jesus before Pilate.”, in Lucy Toulmin Smith, editor, York Plays: The Plays Performed by the Crafts or Mysteries of York on the Day of Corpus Christi in the 14th, 15th, and 16th Centuries: […] (in Middle English), Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, published 1885, OCLC 28074724, line 380, page 286:
- Say beggar, why brawlest þou? go boune þe to þe barre.
- (please add an English translation of this quote)]
- c. 1560, Thomas Ingelend, A Pretie and Mery New Enterlude, Called The Disobedient Child, imprinted at London: […] [B]y Thomas Colwell, OCLC 913382015; republished as John S. Farmer, editor, The Disobedient Child (The Tudor Facsimile Texts; 42), London; Edinburgh: Issued for subscribers by T. C. & E. C. Jack, […], 1908, OCLC 1039484089:
- She [the son's wife] is one that is euermore full of ſtryfe / And of all Scolders beareth the Bell. / When ſhe ſpeaketh beſt, ſhe brawleth her tonge / When ſhe is ſtyll ſhe fyghteth apace: / She is an olde Witch thoughe ſhe be yonge, / No mirth with her, no ioye or ſolace.
- c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth, […], quarto edition, London: Printed by V[alentine] S[immes] for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley, published 1600, OCLC 55178895, [Act II, scene i]:
- How now ſir Iohn, what are you brawling here? / Doth this become your place, your time, and buſineſſe?
- Hello, what's this, Sir John [Falstaff], what, are you creating a disturbance here? / Is this becoming of a person of your position, your age, and duties?
- 1820, Walter Scott, chapter XI, in Ivanhoe; a Romance. [...] In Three Volumes, volume III, Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co. […], OCLC 230694662, page 274:
- [I]f a king will not remain at home and slay his own game, methinks he should not brawl too loud if he finds it killed to his hand.
- 1862 April, “The Bicentenary Commemoration of 1662”, in The Ecclesiastic and Theologian, volume XXIV, London: Joseph Masters, […]; Oxford, Oxfordshire: J. H. and James Parker; A. R. Mowbray; Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Hall and Son; Derby, Derbyshire: J. and C. Mozley, OCLC 5581831, page 239:
- He [one Samuel Tuke] blasphemeth God's Holy Word, preacheth sedition and rebellion, telleth in the pulpit many foolish lies and ridiculous tales, brawleth against the reverend and learned ministers of the country, and raileth upon the worshipful gentry; [...]
- (intransitive) Especially of a rapid stream running over stones: to make a loud, confused noise.
- c. 1598–1600, William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i], page 190, column 1:
- To day my Lord of Amiens, and my ſelfe, / Did ſteale behinde him as he lay along / Vnder an oake, whoſe anticke roote peepes out / Vpon the brooke that brawles along this wood, [...]
- 1793, W[illiam] Wordsworth, An Evening Walk. An Epistle; in Verse. […], London: Printed for J[oseph] Johnson, […], OCLC 520414306; republished as “The Female Beggar. From Wordsworth’s Evening Walk.”, in The Edinburgh Magazine, or Literary Miscellany, volume III (New Series), Edinburgh: Printed for James Symington […] and sold in London by H. Murray […], and W. Boag […], May 1794, OCLC 221359700, page 387, column 1:
- ―When low-hung clouds each ſtar of ſummer hide, / And fireleſs are the valleys far and wide, / Where the brook brawls along the painful road, / Dark with bat haunted aſhes ſtretching broad, [...]
- 1814, J. H. Craig [pseudonym; James Hogg], The Hunting of Badlewe: A Dramatic Tale, London: H[enry] Colburn; Edinburgh: G. Goldie, OCLC 612459984, page 1; quoted in “The Hunting of Badlewe, a Dramatic Tale. 8vo. Edin. 1814. [From the Scottish Review.]”, in The Analectic Magazine, Containing Selections from Foreign Reviews and Magazines, together with Original Miscellaneous Compositions, volume V (New Series), Philadelphia, Pa.: Published and sold by Moses Thomas, […], May 1815, OCLC 974441451, pages 353–354:
- What seek we here / Amid this waste where desolation scowls, / And the red torrent, brawling down the linn, / Sings everlasting discord?
- (transitive) To pour abuse on; to scold.
Possibly from French branler (“to shake”), from Old French brandeler (“to shake, wave; to agitate”), from brand, branc (“blade of a sword”), from Vulgar Latin *brandus (“firebrand; flaming sword; sword”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrenu- (“to burn”).
brawl (plural brawls)
- (dance, obsolete) A type of dance move or step.
- (dance, music, historical) Alternative form of
- c. 1595–1596, W. Shakespere [i.e., William Shakespeare], A Pleasant Conceited Comedie Called, Loues Labors Lost. […] (First Quarto), imprinted in London: By W[illiam] W[hite] for Cut[h]bert Burby, published 1598, OCLC 61366361, [Act III, scene i]:
- Boy. Maiſter, will you win your loue with a french braule? / Brag[gart]. How meaneſt thou? brawling in French. / Boy. No my complet Maiſter, but to Iigge off a tune at the tongues ende, canarie to it with your feete, humour it with turning vp your eylids, ſigh a note and ſing a note ſomtime through the throate, if you ſwallowed loue with ſinging loue [...]
- ^ “braulen, v.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 3 April 2019.
- ^ “brawl” in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press.
- ^ “brawl, v.1”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.
- ^ “braul, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 3 April 2019; compare “brawl, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.
- ^ “brawl, v.2”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.
- “†brawl, n.3”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.