Definition of barney in English:



  • A quarrel, especially a noisy one.

    ‘we had a barney about his being drunk’
    • ‘Hoping they'd be safe enough, it was an eye-opener to read Enders's account of four of their Iraqi staff having a barney and falling silent as he passed.’
    • ‘Still a fit looking man, we had a barney about the whole Galway and Mayo rivalry and the many great games between us.’
    • ‘Last night's events will have merely provided spicy new material for moronic fanzine articles and websites to celebrate before the next barney.’
    • ‘You got a big hefty looking bloke who looked like he could handle himself in a barney, put him and a bunch of like mates out on the streets at all hours of the day and night as a visible presence.’
    • ‘Sharp and funny, this adaptation also sees Colin Firth and Hugh Grant square up for a comedy barney as love rivals.’
    • ‘I don't think I've known referees to fall out or have a barney about decisions but sometimes, on the way home in the car, it can be a bit quiet.’
    • ‘We had our barneys like every other bunch of work-mates, but the camaraderie was great and I'll miss that.’
    • ‘They had a right barney the other night and it doesn't look good.’
    • ‘We do have barneys, but I say it doesn't matter where it is, let's just have them.’
    • ‘Keen observers of British justice have this week been treated to a category-A barney between two of tabloid society's leading lights.’
    • ‘Indeed, the encounter was notable for a host of intemperate moments, quite apart from the major barney.’
    • ‘He's obviously disappointed that I didn't start a barney so he could join in or call for assistance and get the sirens wailing.’
    • ‘So when skinny little Brett turns up with more bruises than a barney in the playground would provide, she takes action.’
    • ‘There was the barney with his belligerent star man, Zlatko Zahovic, whose disrespectful verbal assault on his coach saw him head home on Thursday.’
    • ‘‘I'm not anti-Semitic,’ Ken tells his ex-wife during a drunken barney at a New Year party.’
    • ‘Despite the barney in May, Mr Willis insists there is a real spark between them and they can't wait to walk hand-in-hand down the aisle.’
    • ‘Publication has been delayed repeatedly by barneys between the Department of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture.’
    • ‘He's really upset, not ready to kick off just yet, but I'm not going to give him an excuse to start a barney by turning my back.’
    • ‘Paxo, Hislop and others are having a huge barney about fraud.’
    • ‘I'm a grown up and can handle myself in a barney if need be.’
    argument, row, fight, disagreement, difference of opinion, dissension, falling-out
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Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.