squabble

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1600s, probably of North Germanic origin and ultimately imitative.[1]

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).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

squabble (plural squabbles)

  1. A minor fight or argument.
    The children got into a squabble about who should ride in the front of the car.

Derived terms[edit]

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Verb[edit]

squabble (third-person singular simple present squabbles, present participle squabbling, simple past and past participle squabbled)

  1. (intransitive) To participate in a minor fight or argument; to quarrel.
    The brothers were always squabbling with each other.
    • 1725, Isaac Watts, Logick, or The Right Use of Reason in the Enquiry After Truth With a Variety of Rules to Guard:
      The sense of these propositions is very plain and easy, though logicians might perhaps squabble a whole day whether they should rank them under negative or affirmative.
  2. (transitive, printing) To disarrange, so that the letters or lines stand awry and require readjustment.
    to squabble type

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.