Definition of donnybrook in English:



NZ, North American, Australian
  • A scene of uproar and disorder; a heated argument.

    ‘raucous ideological donnybrooks’
    • ‘I braced myself for the all-time donnybrook of our marriage.’
    • ‘Based on the Sunday morning talk shows, it appears that the nomination will be a donnybrook.’
    • ‘People were accused of entering into the donnybrook without experience, knowledge, good faith, rationality, sobriety or even their own hitherto recognisable identities.’
    • ‘Although the third man in the contest had been overshadowed by the megadollar donnybrook being waged by the frontrunners, the press had not forgotten him.’
    • ‘This stylistic donnybrook - one of hip-hop's most distinctive - has been met with equal parts approbation and bafflement.’
    • ‘Because we work at a think tank that studies workplace issues, we had ringside seats at what became an all-too-typical Washington donnybrook in which the special interests prevailed over the public interest.’
    • ‘His impassioned diatribes are laced with the queasy petulance of someone who already knows he's lost the fight, going to the mat with a whine instead of a real donnybrook.’
    • ‘He was more upbeat, feeling the donnybrook had cleared the air.’
    • ‘It will be interesting to see whether the ‘public use’ issue becomes a factor in the donnybrook that is brewing over the next Supreme Court nominee.’
    • ‘Nothing like a little donnybrook to build a bit of team spirit.’
    • ‘This donnybrook marked the end of an unbroken series of six Republican presidential victories that reached back to Abraham Lincoln's first win in 1860.’
    • ‘But even a donnybrook might be better than stone-cold silence.’
    • ‘Only the intervention of the local constabulary prevented a full-scale donnybrook.’
    • ‘But a donnybrook is brewing between those that offer the new services and those that need to protect their old technology.’
    • ‘Direct confrontation - verbal or otherwise - may only succeed in sparking a fan-on-fan donnybrook.’
    • ‘I believe that if you're going to have a loud public hissy snit with a total stranger you have the obligation to eventually let it escalate into a shrieking, hair-pulling, rolling-on-the-ground donnybrook and really give the crowd a show.’
    • ‘What, then, is the alternative to a donnybrook?’
    • ‘The race for a successor is a three-way donnybrook where anything could happen - including the election of another Independent.’
    • ‘‘Scramble’ is the right word for this donnybrook.’
    • ‘Funding isn't the only political donnybrook in the offing when the renewal of welfare reform is debated next year.’
    disturbance, racket, uproar, tumult, ruckus, clamour, brouhaha, furore, hue and cry, palaver, fuss, stir, to-do, storm, maelstrom, melee
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Mid 19th century: from the name of a suburb of Dublin, Ireland, formerly famous for its annual fair.