Definition of squabble in English:

squabble

noun

  • A noisy quarrel about something trivial:

    ‘family squabbles’
    • ‘I learnt that, being the eldest, any arguments and squabbles would nearly always result in a smack for me.’
    • ‘And there were more family squabbles as he fell out publicly with his brothers, sisters and father.’
    • ‘Until Congress and the FDA resolve their legal squabbles, consumers are on their own.’
    • ‘Yet, politics forms a large part of the family squabbles.’
    • ‘These days our squabbles have taken a more controlled and grown-up turn.’
    • ‘They were friends, and had had their share of squabbles and fights in the past, but this was different.’
    • ‘The drama centres on twin sisters, Dibs Hamilton and Girlie Delaney, and the ugly squabble over who gets to inherit Allandale, the family farm.’
    • ‘As usual Papa found a way to settle the squabble.’
    • ‘In the mid-1850s, Scott's squabbles with Secretary of War Jefferson Davis were legendary.’
    • ‘It's a private squabble which no-one else is interested in.’
    • ‘He doesn't have time for his family's petty squabbles, or lounging around in bars with his mates.’
    • ‘As adults, we tend to think children's squabbles are unnecessary, that they are trivia blown up out of all proportion.’
    • ‘If you enjoy engaging in office politics or family squabbles, this is might be a much better alternative that does far less harm to others.’
    • ‘Let the Times staff fight out their own professional squabbles.’
    • ‘We've survived distance, illness and family squabbles and with every challenge we overcome, we get a little closer.’
    • ‘It's amazing how one strong and loving personality can keep all the petty squabbles in check.’
    • ‘The family did get into the occasional squabble over the latest dance crazes.’
    • ‘Certainly the petty political squabbles could prove embarrassing if extensively reported on.’
    • ‘They're having a family squabble and want to suck in the rest of us.’
    • ‘During a family squabble, my parents told us exactly how ‘disappointed’ they were in us.’
    quarrel, row, argument, fight, contretemps, disagreement, difference of opinion, dissension, falling-out, dispute, disputation, contention, clash, altercation, shouting match, exchange, war of words
    tussle, conflict, fracas, affray, wrangle, tangle, passage at arms, passage of arms, battle royal
    donnybrook
    tiff, set-to, run-in, shindig, shindy, stand-up, spat, scrap, dust-up
    barney, slanging match, bunfight, ding-dong, bust-up, ruck
    afters
    rammy
    rhubarb
    broil, miff
    threap, collieshangie
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Quarrel noisily over a trivial matter:

    ‘the boys were squabbling over a ball’
    • ‘The parties have fought this election by issuing dire warnings, squabbling about details and calling each other names.’
    • ‘Britain and the United States squabbled endlessly - almost going to war at one stage - over exactly where the border between the two countries should run.’
    • ‘We already have too many boys squabbling over too many toys.’
    • ‘Our four-year-old twins (age gap: two minutes) have fought and squabbled since they grasped the concept of owning anything.’
    • ‘It's fun to watch when the candidates start arguing between themselves, squabbling like petty children.’
    • ‘They need to stop squabbling over who is the more honest.’
    • ‘The dispute spiralled as the neighbours squabbled over the boundary line running along their drive when Mr Johnson wanted to build a garage.’
    • ‘One of the biggest cultural events in Manchester could be shelved due to squabbling among the organisers.’
    • ‘Mr Milnes said New Zealanders were squabbling over tax cuts while the environment was showing signs of stress.’
    • ‘Kerr and MacAveety are still squabbling about those bloody football tickets.’
    • ‘Last month, they were said to have squabbled after Venus crashed out in the first round of the French Open and fled back to Florida, leaving her sister without a doubles partner.’
    • ‘Last night the former lovers were squabbling over the origin of William's middle name, Sanders.’
    • ‘His reported penchant for trimming films in the editing suite has earned him the nickname Harvey Scissorhands, and he was rumoured to have squabbled furiously with Martin Scorsese over Gangs of New York.’
    • ‘At Monday's meeting of the Council the members originally squabbled among themselves as to whether or not to give the go-ahead.’
    • ‘Even in the mixed teams, it's the girls that are squabbling and always having to have the last word.’
    • ‘As the US took decisive action to boost its economy and stockmarkets last week by cutting interest rates further, European Union ministers squabbled among themselves - and may yet pay the price for such dithering.’
    • ‘Though they squabbled and argued and even fought on occasion, Joe adored his brother and was delighted to see him on the road to recovery at last.’
    • ‘They concentrated on simple, direct promises to voters, while the other parties squabbled over more esoteric issues like EU expansion.’
    • ‘We spent much of the next 20 minutes squabbling over who had the better of it.’
    • ‘We'll still squabble like children, because you can't change human nature.’
    • ‘He might have caused a storm in a teacup in the corridors of the Westminster press lobby as journalists squabbled over who had the story, whether it was attributable and who had told The Sun anyway.’
    • ‘Last week, the Education Secretary was squabbling with the Deputy Prime Minister over school reforms.’
    quarrel, row, argue, bicker, have a fight, have a row, fight, fall out, disagree, fail to agree, differ, be at odds, have a misunderstanding, be at variance, have words, dispute, spar, wrangle, bandy words, cross swords, lock horns, be at each other's throats, be at loggerheads
    scrap, go at it hammer and tongs, argufy
    altercate, chop logic
    threap
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: probably imitative; compare with Swedish dialect skvabbel a dispute.

Pronunciation:

squabble

/ˈskwɒb(ə)l/