- an inordinately wild fight or contentious dispute; brawl; free-for-all.
Origin of donnybrook
First recorded in 1850–55; after Donnybrook (Fair).
Also called Donnybrook Fair.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for donnybrook
We say nothing of the difference between May Fair and Donnybrook.The Young Duke
And get it settled who's in command of this Donnybrook, while we're at it, Conn thought.The Cosmic Computer
Henry Beam Piper
We went out to Donnybrook and I brought her into a field there.Dubliners
Their chief delight is to get into a regular Donnybrook fight.The Bungalow Boys North of Fifty-Three
Dexter J. Forrester
Where has the pugilistic hilarity of the Irish scope as at Donnybrook Fair?The Collector
Henry T. Tuckerman
- a rowdy brawl
C19: after Donnybrook Fair, an annual event until 1855 near Dublin
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 donnybrook
1852, from Donnybrook Fair, proverbial for carousing and brawling, held in County Dublin until 1855.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper