Definition of fighting words in English:

fighting words

Syllabification: fight·ing words

noun

informal
1Words indicating a willingness to fight or challenge someone.
More example sentences
  • Translation: This six-letter word is fighting talk.
  • Still to come, it's a war of words and the Democrats are studying those fighting words.
  • ‘We're in mourning - leave us alone,’ he begged, before finding his voice and a vocabulary of fighting words.
1.1US Words expressing an insult, especially of an ethnic, racial, or sexist nature.
More example sentences
  • But there was no need to touch someone you wanted to insult - you could utter fighting words instead.
  • So why would ‘Black girl ‘yelled across a schoolyard become fighting words for me?’
  • In the presence of fighting words, the manly form of behavior was not turning the other cheek, but rather an immediate and aggressive physical response.

Definition of fighting words in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day envenom
Pronunciation: ɪnˈvɛnəm
verb
put poison on or into; make poisonous