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battle royal

noun, plural battles royal.
a fight in which more than two combatants are engaged.
a heated argument:
After a while the discussion turned into a battle royal.
Origin of battle royal
First recorded in 1665-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for battle royal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The result was a battle royal that might have put to shame two Bengal tigers.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • "I expect the worst that has happened may be a battle royal with old Ketch," said he.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Her head went down and her back humped, and she settled to a battle royal.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • They had now gained their feet, and were engaged in battle royal.

  • When we leave, there will be a battle royal between them and the buzzards for the beef.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Two dogs would rush in and start a battle royal on the floor.

    Occasion for Disaster Gordon Randall Garrett
  • This increasing viciousness one day culminated in a battle royal.

    Sawdust & Spangles W. C. Coup
  • "I think she is, but in a battle royal I bet on Tweedles," and so I did.

  • When I did get hold of her it was a battle royal to get her back to the pier.

British Dictionary definitions for battle royal

battle royal

a fight, esp with fists or cudgels, involving more than two combatants; melee
a long violent argument
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for battle royal

battle royal

noun phrase

A general quarrel or fight; brannigan, donnybrook: What began as a mild disagreement escalated into a battle royal (1670s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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