- to engage in petulant or peevish argument; wrangle: The two were always bickering.
- to run rapidly; move quickly; rush; hurry: a stream bickering down the valley.
- to flicker; glitter: The sun bickered through the trees.
- an angry, petty dispute or quarrel; contention.
Origin of bicker1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bickering
Joy Woodhouse calls in to tell her bickering boys Brad and Dallas to “get this out of your system” before Christmas.Mom Scolds Pundit Sons on C-SPAN
Alex Chancey, The Daily Beast Video
December 16, 2014
Such admiration for the American system sounds strange in this era of gridlock and bickering.Communism's Victims Deserve a Museum
August 25, 2014
The landings culminated years of debate, planning, construction, bickering, invention, training, deception of the enemy and more.D-Day Historian Craig Symonds Talks About History’s Most Amazing Invasion
June 5, 2014
Leaders are constantly issuing contradictory orders and security commanders are bickering.Inside East Ukraine’s Make-Believe Republics
May 15, 2014
There are many loose ends surrounding the crime and the bickering, even though somewhat abated, will undoubtedly flare again.Brunello’s King Lear: Gianfranco Soldera Reflects on the Attack on His Wine
December 8, 2013
What use of logic, where there was no bickering about the double-meaning words?The Praise of Folly
And there were the dogs, ever squabbling and bickering, bursting into uproars and creating confusions.White Fang
As it was, the Philosophers contented themselves with bickering.Tom, Dick and Harry
Talbot Baines Reed
The bickering and rivalries must have been part of the camouflage.A Slave is a Slave
Henry Beam Piper
I am tired of war, tired of bickering, tired of watching and being watched.Long Live the King
Mary Roberts Rinehart
- to argue over petty matters; squabble
- (esp of a stream) to run quickly
- to flicker; glitter
- a petty squabble
Word Origin and History for bickering
c.1300, "a skirmish," from bicker (v.). Meaning "a verbal wrangle" is from 1570s.
1808 in the sense of "contentious," present participle adjective from bicker (v.). Earlier it was used to mean "flashing, quivering" (1660s).
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.