a noisy quarrel, squabble, or fight.
a bubbling or roaring noise; a clamor.
Slang. a large, noisy party.

verb (used without object)

to quarrel angrily and noisily; wrangle.
to make a bubbling or roaring noise, as water flowing over a rocky bed.

Origin of brawl

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English brawlen, brallen to raise a clamor, quarrel, boast; of uncertain origin; (noun) Middle English braule, brall, derivative of the noun
Related formsbrawl·er, nounbrawl·y, adjectiveout·brawl, verb (used with object)un·brawl·ing, adjective

Synonyms for brawl

Synonym study

1. See disorder. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brawler

Contemporary Examples of brawler

Historical Examples of brawler

  • Its professor and defender is sometimes at bottom a brawler and a clown.

  • He charges me as a brawler, a disturber of the peace and order of the city.


    William Ware

  • Am I, who was once a gentleman, a rascal as well as a brawler?

    Captain Ravenshaw

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • He may be a brawler, or a proud man, or a sleek, or an artful.

    Recollections of a Policeman

    William Russell (aka Thomas Waters)

  • And though in no manner a brawler, a life of enterprise suited me mightily.

British Dictionary definitions for brawler




a loud disagreement or fight
US slang an uproarious party

verb (intr)

to quarrel or fight noisily; squabble
(esp of water) to flow noisily
Derived Formsbrawler, nounbrawling, noun, adjective

Word Origin for brawl

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




a dance: the English version of the branle
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 brawler



late 14c., braulen "to cry out, scold, quarrel," probably related to Dutch brallen "to boast," or from French brailler "to shout noisily," frequentative of braire "to bray" (see bray (v.)). Meaning "quarrel, wrangle, squabble" is from early 15c. Related: Brawled; brawling.



mid-15c., from brawl (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper