View synonyms for bickering


[ bik-er-ing ]


  1. arguing petulantly or peevishly; wrangling or quarreling:

    To raise their daughter properly, the bickering pair must set aside their differences and work on their parenting skills.

  2. flickering:

    They deliberately hadn’t fixed the bickering light at the bistro, as it had become an iconic feature of the establishment.

  3. Literary. rushing or making a rushing sound, as water:

    The two flutes accompanied by piano sounded like two chirping birds chasing each other above a bickering stream.


  1. the act of engaging in petulant or peevish argument:

    Why all this useless bickering over who's best or better?

  2. the act of flickering:

    If you’re bothered by the constant bickering of the malfunction light on your motorbike, do a thorough analysis of the wiring.

  3. Literary. the act of rushing or of making a rushing sound, as water:

    Over the roar of the falls and the ceaseless bickering of the rain, he heard another sound.

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Other Words From

  • un·bick·er·ing adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of bickering1

First recorded in 1275–1325; bicker 1( def ) + -ing 2( def ) for the adjective senses; bicker 1( def ) + -ing 1( def ) for the noun senses

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Example Sentences

Joy Woodhouse calls in to tell her bickering boys Brad and Dallas to “get this out of your system” before Christmas.

Such admiration for the American system sounds strange in this era of gridlock and bickering.

Chronic partisan bickering largely gave way to a rare moment of well-deserved self-congratulation.

The landings culminated years of debate, planning, construction, bickering, invention, training, deception of the enemy and more.

Leaders are constantly issuing contradictory orders and security commanders are bickering.

The bickering might have gone on the rest of the evening except that Barbara Sutton told them they were both being very foolish.

There was haggling and bickering until a price of sixty was agreed upon, and Mr. McCann's heart expanded with satisfaction.

There was nothing to distract him from the sordidness of the bickering household in George Street.

"I saw you as I was coming away from Kendrick's last night," he began, with a bickering rasp in his voice.

Einstein was the only thinker in a century gone mad from bickering.