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[fis-ti-kuhf] /ˈfɪs tɪˌkʌf/
a cuff or blow with the fist.
fisticuffs, combat with the fists.
verb (used with or without object)
to strike or fight with the fists.
Origin of fisticuff
1595-1605; earlier fisty cuff. See fist1, -y1, cuff2
Related forms
fisticuffer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fisticuffs
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His friends had been driven out of Washington or had taken to fisticuffs.

  • He engaged it wildly at fisticuffs; pounded it upon the countenance and drove it away.

    Ramsey Milholland Booth Tarkington
  • David had to smile at the idea of the Mayor and Mr. Chambers engaged in fisticuffs.

    To Him That Hath Leroy Scott
  • It isn't the first time that he has had a fisticuffs with a member of this family.

  • Present society is everywhere at fisticuffs with its own development.

    Woman under socialism August Bebel
  • There is a rapid exchange of fisticuffs; and the Epeira lies overturned on her back.

    More Hunting Wasps J. Henri Fabre
  • I am not sure, but I believe it actually came to fisticuffs.

    The Red Room August Strindberg
  • Do you mean that Burgundy will always be the land of fisticuffs?

    Sons of the Soil Honore de Balzac
  • That practice can hardly be called an improvement, even if we do not care for fisticuffs.

British Dictionary definitions for fisticuffs


plural noun
combat with the fists
Word Origin
C17: probably from fisty with the fist + cuff²
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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Word Origin and History for fisticuffs

c.1600, from fist (n.) + cuff, perhaps in imitation of handiwork. Related: Fisticuff.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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