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See more synonyms for infighting on Thesaurus.com
  1. fighting at close range.
  2. fighting between rivals, people closely associated, members of a group, etc.; internecine contention.
  3. free-for-all fighting.
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Origin of infighting

First recorded in 1810–20; in-1 + fighting
Related formsin·fight·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for in-fighting

division, disharmony, discord, tumult, disunity, disagreement, friction, dissension, turbulence, rebellion, sedition, divisiveness, infighting

Examples from the Web for in-fighting

Contemporary Examples of in-fighting

Historical Examples of in-fighting

  • Go ahead as if nothing was wrong, but be sure and not try any in-fighting.

  • He had a ten-year apprenticeship in the treachery and in-fighting of the frontier.

    The Cartels Jungle

    Irving E. Cox, Jr.

  • But Driscoll chose the in-fighting, and naturally became himself the centre of the hottest patch.

    The Missourian

    Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

  • Pour in a volley; fire low, and when it comes to in-fighting, use the bayonet resolutely and you have them beaten.

    The Story of Isaac Brock

    Walter R. Nursey

  • "David, you are a brick when it comes to the in-fighting," said the general manager; and then he finished buttoning his collar.

    The Grafters

    Francis Lynde

British Dictionary definitions for in-fighting


  1. boxing combat at close quarters in which proper blows are inhibited and the fighters try to wear down each other's strength
  2. intense competition, as between members of the same organization, esp when kept secret from outsiders
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Derived Formsinfighter, noun
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 in-fighting


1812, from pugilism, the practice of getting at close quarters with an opponent; see in + fighting. Old English infiht (n.) meant "brawl within a house or between members of a household."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper