[ kwawr-uhl, kwor- ]
/ ˈkwɔr əl, ˈkwɒr- /


an angry dispute or altercation; a disagreement marked by a temporary or permanent break in friendly relations.
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.

to disagree angrily; squabble; wrangle.
to end a friendship as a result of a disagreement.
to make a complaint; find fault.

Nearby words

  1. quarkonium,
  2. quarks,
  3. quarles,
  4. quarles, francis,
  5. quarnero,
  6. quarrelsome,
  7. quarrelsomely,
  8. quarrian,
  9. quarrier,
  10. quarry

Origin of quarrel

1300–50; Middle English querele < Old French < Latin querēla, querella a complaint, derivative of querī to complain

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.

Related formsquar·rel·er, nounquar·rel·ing·ly, adverbun·quar·rel·ing, adjectiveun·quar·rel·ling, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quarrelling

British Dictionary definitions for quarrelling


/ (ˈkwɒrəl) /


an angry disagreement; argument
a cause of disagreement or dispute; grievance

verb -rels, -relling or -relled or US -rels, -reling or -reled (intr often foll by with)

to engage in a disagreement or dispute; argue
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


/ (ˈkwɒrəl) /


an arrow having a four-edged head, fired from a crossbow
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 quarrelling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with quarrelling


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.