[ skwob-uhl ]
/ ˈskwɒb əl /

verb (used without object), squab·bled, squab·bling.

to engage in a petty quarrel.

verb (used with object), squab·bled, squab·bling.

Printing. to disarrange and mix (composed type).


a petty quarrel.

Nearby words

  1. sql,
  2. sqn,
  3. sqn ldr,
  4. sqq.,
  5. squab,
  6. squabby,
  7. squacco,
  8. squad,
  9. squad car,
  10. squad room

Origin of squabble

1595–1605; probably < Scandinavian; compare Swedish dialect skvabbel a quarrel, gossip, Norwegian dialect skvabba to prattle

Related formssquab·bler, nounsquab·bling·ly, adverbun·squab·bling, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for squabble

British Dictionary definitions for squabble


/ (ˈskwɒbəl) /


(intr) to quarrel over a small matter


a petty quarrel
Derived Formssquabbler, noun

Word Origin for squabble

C17: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Swedish dialect sqvabbel to quarrel

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 squabble



c.1600, probably of imitative origin (cf. dialectal Swedish skvabbel "quarrel," dialectal German schwabbeln "to babble, prattle"). The verb is recorded from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper