• synonyms


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verb (used without object), squab·bled, squab·bling.
  1. to engage in a petty quarrel.
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verb (used with object), squab·bled, squab·bling.
  1. Printing. to disarrange and mix (composed type).
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  1. a petty quarrel.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

difference, flap, tiff, disagreement, controversy, wrangle, feud, hassle, altercation, dispute, spat, quarrel, bickering, bicker, disagree, quibble, fuss, scrap, scene, fight

Examples from the Web for squabble

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for squabble


  1. (intr) to quarrel over a small matter
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  1. a petty quarrel
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Derived Formssquabbler, noun

Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper