[kwawr-uhl, kwor-]
See more synonyms for quarrel on Thesaurus.com
  1. an angry dispute or altercation; a disagreement marked by a temporary or permanent break in friendly relations.
  2. a cause of dispute, complaint, or hostile feeling: She has no quarrel with her present salary.
verb (used without object), quar·reled, quar·rel·ing or (especially British) quar·relled, quar·rel·ling.
  1. to disagree angrily; squabble; wrangle.
  2. to end a friendship as a result of a disagreement.
  3. to make a complaint; find fault.

Origin of quarrel

1300–50; Middle English querele < Old French < Latin querēla, querella a complaint, derivative of querī to complain
Related formsquar·rel·er, nounquar·rel·ing·ly, adverbun·quar·rel·ing, adjectiveun·quar·rel·ling, adjective

Synonyms for quarrel

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1. argument, contention, controversy, difference, fight. Quarrel, dissension refer to disagreement and conflict. Quarrel applies chiefly to a verbal disagreement between individuals or groups and is used with reference to a large variety of situations, from a slight and petty difference of opinion to a violent altercation: It was little more than a domestic quarrel. Their quarrel led to the barroom brawl. Dissension usually implies a profound disagreement and bitter conflict. It also applies chiefly to conflict within a group or to members of the same group: dissension within the union; dissension among the Democrats. 3. bicker, argue, brawl, fight.


[kwawr-uh l, kwor-]
  1. a square-headed bolt or arrow, formerly used with a crossbow.
  2. Also quarry. a small, square or diamond-shaped pane of glass, as used in latticed windows.
  3. any of various tools with pyramidal heads.

Origin of quarrel

1175–1225; Middle English quarel < Old French < Medieval Latin quadrellus, diminutive of Latin quadrus square
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for quarrel


  1. an angry disagreement; argument
  2. a cause of disagreement or dispute; grievance
verb -rels, -relling or -relled or US -rels, -reling or -reled (intr often foll by with)
  1. to engage in a disagreement or dispute; argue
  2. to find fault; complain
Derived Formsquarreller or US quarreler, noun

Word Origin for quarrel

C14: from Old French querele, from Latin querēlla complaint, from querī to complain


  1. an arrow having a four-edged head, fired from a crossbow
  2. a small square or diamond-shaped pane of glass, usually one of many in a fixed or casement window and framed with lead

Word Origin for quarrel

C13: from Old French quarrel pane, from Medieval Latin quadrellus, diminutive of Latin quadrus square
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 quarrel

"angry dispute," mid-14c., originally "ground for complaint," from Old French querele "matter, concern, business; dispute, controversy" (Modern French querelle), from Latin querella "complaint, accusation; lamentation," from queri "to complain, lament." Replaced Old English sacan. Sense of "contention between persons" is from 1570s.


"square-headed bolt for a crossbow," mid-13c., from Old French quarel, carrel "bolt, arrow," from Vulgar Latin *quadrellus, diminutive of Late Latin quadrus (adj.) "square," related to quattuor "four" (see four). Now-archaic sense of "square or diamond-shaped plane of glass" first recorded mid-15c.


late 14c., "to raise an objection;" 1520s as "to contend violently, to fall out," from quarrel (n.1) and in part from Old French quereler (Modern French quereller). Related: Quarrelled; quarrelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with quarrel


see pick a quarrel.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.