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verb (used without object)
  1. to engage in petulant or peevish argument; wrangle: The two were always bickering.
  2. to run rapidly; move quickly; rush; hurry: a stream bickering down the valley.
  3. to flicker; glitter: The sun bickered through the trees.
  1. an angry, petty dispute or quarrel; contention.

Origin of bicker1

1250–1300; Middle English bikeren < ?
Related formsbick·er·er, nounun·bick·ered, adjectiveun·bick·er·ing, adjective


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1. disagree, squabble, argue, quarrel, haggle, dispute, spar, spat.


noun Scot.
  1. any wooden dish or bowl, especially a wooden porridge bowl.
  2. Obsolete. a wooden drinking cup.

Origin of bicker2

1300–50; Middle English biker beaker
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bicker


verb (intr)
  1. to argue over petty matters; squabble
  2. poetic
    1. (esp of a stream) to run quickly
    2. to flicker; glitter
  1. a petty squabble
Derived Formsbickerer, nounbickering, noun, adjective

Word Origin

C13: of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for bicker


early 14c., bikere, "to skirmish, fight," perhaps from Middle Dutch bicken "to slash, stab, attack," + -er, Middle English frequentative suffix. Meaning "to quarrel" is from mid-15c. Related: Bickered; bickering.


c.1300, skirmish, battle; from the same source as bicker (v.). In modern use, often to describe the sound of a flight of an arrow or other repeated, loud, rapid sounds, in which sense it is perhaps at least partly echoic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper