Share this entry

squabble Line breaks: squab¦ble
Pronunciation: /ˈskwɒb(ə)l/

Definition of squabble in English:


A noisy quarrel about something trivial: family squabbles
More example sentences
  • We've survived distance, illness and family squabbles and with every challenge we overcome, we get a little closer.
  • He doesn't have time for his family's petty squabbles, or lounging around in bars with his mates.
  • During a family squabble, my parents told us exactly how ‘disappointed’ they were in us.
Irish , North American , & Australian donnybrook
informal tiff, set-to, run-in, shindig, shindy, stand-up, spat, scrap, dust-up
British informal barney, slanging match, bunfight, ding-dong, bust-up, ruck
British informal , Football afters
Scottish informal rammy
North American informal rhubarb
archaic broil, miff
Scottish archaic threap, collieshangie
French archaic tracasserie(s)


[no object] Back to top  
Quarrel noisily over a trivial matter: the boys were squabbling over a ball
More example sentences
  • We already have too many boys squabbling over too many toys.
  • It's fun to watch when the candidates start arguing between themselves, squabbling like petty children.
  • Our four-year-old twins (age gap: two minutes) have fought and squabbled since they grasped the concept of owning anything.
quarrel, row, argue, bicker, have a row/fight, 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
informal scrap, go at it hammer and tongs, argufy
Scottish archaic threap


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



Pronunciation: /ˈskwɒblə/
Example sentences
  • In return, Auckland City has been governed by petty squabblers who indulge in personal attacks on each other.
  • This week it's The Taming of the Shrew, Franco Zeffirelli's 1967 adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy about two squabblers (Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) who fall in love.

Words that rhyme with squabble

bobble, Chernobyl, cobble, gobble, hobble, knobble, nobble, wobble

Definition of squabble in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...