Definition of fisticuffs in English:


plural noun

  • Fighting with the fists.

    ‘the result was an outbreak of fisticuffs’
    • ‘You just have to put up with a bit of shouting and the occasional fisticuffs.’
    • ‘There were fisticuffs and threats, and my backpack was gently returned to me as we exited the discotheque - apparently barred for our dirty dancing.’
    • ‘Petty fisticuffs aside, the idea of a battle of the sexes in the snooker arena would add an extra dimension.’
    • ‘As the two No 9s flailed about on the floor, the two packs closed for a bout of ugly and prolonged fisticuffs, a scenario that was repeated throughout the match.’
    • ‘Some men still believe in fisticuffs as a method of settling grudges.’
    • ‘It was the banter between them before the starting bell, not the fisticuffs that followed, that was the fight's main attraction.’
    • ‘The incident began with words in a bar, with an alleged insult to some women, then a confrontation with fisticuffs and bottles being thrown.’
    • ‘Amid the fisticuffs there's greatness, as we film junkies know.’
    • ‘A bout of fisticuffs ensues, and with a misdirected right hook, the villain finds himself stuck in the shock therapy equipment.’
    • ‘Every dispute from fisticuffs in the street to a battle in a grand war needs its goodies and baddies.’
    • ‘However, when we step through the turnstiles, it's war - minus the shooting of course and largely minus any fisticuffs too these days.’
    • ‘Here's a report on the fisticuffs, which will continue with appeals.’
    • ‘Car owners have also become so touchy and fussy about the parking space that any encroachment leads to heated arguments and bouts of fisticuffs.’
    • ‘Then, according to Ken anyway, Jerry ‘ran like a woman out of the club’ to escape potential fisticuffs.’
    • ‘Sometimes, it takes good old-fashioned fisticuffs to settle the matter.’
    • ‘Failure always leads to arguments, fisticuffs and grudging reconciliation.’
    • ‘It is no longer reasonable to expect those who keep a ‘cool head’ when the fisticuffs start to restore normality in such circumstances.’
    • ‘Now, you might think this is where the fisticuffs come in.’
    • ‘Every effort was also made to discern the identity of all the major suspects or individuals who were involved in any kind of fisticuffs.’
    • ‘Taken to the nth degree this mentality could lead to a shift towards the sort of behaviour seen in ice hockey, in which known combatants get the fisticuffs out of the way before the game even starts.’
    disturbance, quarrel, scuffle, brawl, affray, tussle, melee, free-for-all, fight, clash, skirmish, brouhaha, riot, uproar, commotion
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Early 17th century: probably from obsolete fisty ‘relating to the fists or to fist fighting’ + cuff.