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Named from Donnybrook Fair, a notoriously disorderly event, held annually from 1204 until the middle of the 19th century. The town of Donnybrook comes from the Irish "Domhnach Broc", meaning "The Church of Saint Broc".



donnybrook (plural donnybrooks)

  1. A brawl or fracas; a scene of chaos.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘His Chance in Life’, Plain Tales from the Hills (Folio 2005), page 56:
      But the Hindus turned out and broke their heads; when, finding lawlessness pleasant, Hindus and Muhammadans together raised an aimless sort of Donnybrook just to see how far they could go.
    • 1988, James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom (Oxford 2003), page 200:
      Sherman's signature caused another donnybrook over the election of a speaker of the House when the 36th Congress convened in December 1859.
    • 2002, Joseph O'Connor, Star of the Sea (Vintage 2003), page 223:
      This was no innocuous donnybrook but a veritable carnival of thuggee.