[frey-kuh s; British frak-ah]


a noisy, disorderly disturbance or fight; riotous brawl; uproar.

Origin of fracas

1720–30; < French < Italian fracasso, derivative of fracassare to smash, equivalent to fra- (< Latin infrā among) completely + cassare to break; see cassation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of fracas

British Dictionary definitions for fracas



a noisy quarrel; brawl

Word Origin for fracas

C18: from French, from fracasser to shatter, from Latin frangere to break, influenced by quassāre to shatter
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 fracas

1727, from French fracas (15c.), from Italian fracasso "uproar, crash," back-formation from fracassare "to smash, crash, break in pieces," from fra-, a shortening of Latin infra "below" + Italian cassare "to break," from Latin quassare "to shake" (see quash).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper