View synonyms for brawl


[ brawl ]


  1. an angry, rough, noisy fight, especially one engaged in under the influence of alcohol:

    The wild, free-for-all western brawl in the saloon lasts two full minutes and constitutes the movie’s opening scene.

    Synonyms: tumult, wrangle, rumpus, row, altercation, affray

  2. Slang. a large, noisy party.
  3. Obsolete. a bubbling or roaring noise; a clamor.

verb (used without object)

  1. to engage in angry, rough, noisy fighting, especially while under the influence of alcohol:

    He found that his hero was little more than a drunken, brawling tramp.

    Synonyms: row, bicker, fight, squabble

  2. to make a bubbling or roaring noise, as water flowing over a rocky bed.



/ brɔːl /


  1. a loud disagreement or fight
  2. slang.
    an uproarious party


  1. to quarrel or fight noisily; squabble
  2. (esp of water) to flow noisily



/ brɔːl /


  1. a dance: the English version of the branle

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Derived Forms

  • ˈbrawling, nounadjective
  • ˈbrawler, noun

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Other Words From

  • brawl·er noun
  • brawl·y adjective
  • out·brawl verb (used with object)
  • un·brawl·ing adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of brawl1

First recorded in 1350–1400; (verb) Middle English brawlen, brallen “to raise a clamor, quarrel, boast”; of uncertain origin; (noun) Middle English braule, brall, derivative of the verb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of brawl1

C14: probably related to Dutch brallen to boast, behave aggressively

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

The first, held in the Treasury Department building, was massively overcrowded, which led to brawls and thefts at the coat check.

Ultimately, the day resulted in a bloody brawl that took the lives of both police and protesters, in a security breach unlike any America has seen in decades.

It’s not the brawl you get outside a bar or the random violence you might get when someone feels frightened.

Here, you can reconstruct crime scenes, such as a bar brawl.

Shouting matches became street brawls, leading to at least 34 dead in the protests.

From Ozy

Good news: so is this grainy TMZ footage of a Bieber/Bloom Ibiza brawl.

How could it be that this word, and not “what” or “why,” has caused a bare-knuckle brawl at such a stratospheric social level?

Most recently, Charles Barkley appeared in a cartoon brawl with Godzilla.

If anyone could have stopped the Everest brawl of April 27, 2013, it was Arnot.

How excited were those three guys to FINALLY have a legitimate reason to bar brawl?

A Yankee, whose face had been mauled in a pot-house brawl, assured General Jackson that he had received his scars in battle.

When about twenty years of age, in a drunken brawl he shot and killed one of his best friends.

You see, he had called at the bank on the morning of the night of the brawl, and drew what little money he had.

Gordon was killed the night before sailing—(Mr. Carr had well described it as a drunken brawl)—killed accidentally.

Brewing in the senior day-room was a mere vulgar brawl, lacking all the refining influences of the study.


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More About Brawl

What does brawl mean?

A brawl is a fight, especially a big one involving a lot of people.

Brawl can also be used as a verb meaning to fight or to participate in a brawl. A person who does this or who’s known for fighting in general can be called a brawler.

Much less commonly, brawl can also be used as a slang term for a wild party.

Other rare senses of brawl include its use as a noun referring to a loud, bubbling noise, like water flowing in a stream, or as a verb meaning to make such a noise.

Example: Police are investigating the post-concert brawl that left three people in the hospital.

Where does brawl come from?

The first records of the word brawl come from the 1300s. It comes from the Middle English brawlen, meaning “to raise a clamor,” “to quarrel,” or “to boast.” This word may be related to the Dutch brallen, meaning “to boast” or “to behave aggressively.”

Any fight can be called a brawl, but the word typically refers to a big, noisy, chaotic fight involving a whole group of people. A barroom brawl is a fight that breaks out among people in a bar. A bench-clearing brawl is a fight at a sports game, especially baseball, in which all of the players and coaches leave the bench to participate. Bench-clearing brawls play out in much the same way as most brawls: the fight starts with two people, and then more and more people join in, with fists swinging and people falling over. This might sound funny to watch, but brawls can result in serious injuries.

An organized fight like a boxing match might be called a brawl, especially to make it sound more intense or exciting.

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What are some other forms related to brawl?

  • brawler (noun)
  • outbrawl (verb)
  • brawly (adjective)
  • unbrawling (adjective)

What are some synonyms for brawl?

What are some words that often get used in discussing brawl?

How is brawl used in real life?

Brawl is nearly always used to refer to big, messy fights involving lots of people. The term is especially associated with big fights at sports games.



Try using brawl!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe a brawl?

A. chaotic
B. intense
C. peaceful
D. violent