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From cat + fight. So named because, like cats, scratching is a common defensive tactic among women, as opposed to a fistfight between men.
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catfight (plural catfights)
- A fight between cats.
- The caterwauling from the catfight in the back yard was awful; I couldn't get to sleep until it was over.
- (slang) A fight or bickering between women.
- Synonyms: hairpulling contest, (Australia) scragfight
- Nancy and Sheila got into a catfight when Nancy's boyfriend cheated on her with Sheila.
- 1980, Louise Bernikow, Among Women, New York: Harmony Books, page 207:
- Female conflict, seen in this kind of structure, works conveniently—it takes note of aggression in women and sets it against other women. Men are spared. The audience applauds. Everyone loves a catfight.
- 2005, Maureen Dowd, Are Men Necessary?, →ISBN, page 310:
- There was a time when I would get furious and fire off an angry note if someone cast me in a catfight with a woman colleague. I assumed that catfights would fade as women progressed. They seemed so retro.
- (fight, especially between women): catty
fight between women — See also translations at bitch fight
- (acrimonious fight, especially between women): handbags, handbags at dawn, the handbags come out, meow!
- Jonathon Green (2023), “cat fight n.”, in Green's Dictionary of Slang