9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[awl-ter-key-shuh n] /ˌɔl tərˈkeɪ ʃən/
a heated or angry dispute; noisy argument or controversy.
Origin of altercation
1350-1400; Middle English altercacioun < Latin altercātiōn- (stem of altercātiō). See altercate, -ion
quarrel, disagreement, clash; squabble, tiff. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for altercation
  • When we were little, my younger brother went to the emergency room because of an altercation with a coffee table.
  • And never be alone with this person because then any altercation becomes your word against his.
  • Given last year's violence, the altercation was not surprising.
  • Authorities did not release details on the altercation.
  • Miller sustained some serious damage to his front teeth and was cut and bruised from the altercation.
  • It was the fourth time in four years that he had been charged because of an altercation outside the boxing ring.
  • Other players stepped in to break up the brief altercation.
  • The altercation lasted for several minutes before being broken up by teammates and coaches.
  • The verbal altercation escalated enough that they had to be separated.
  • During the dance, there was an altercation between two groups.
British Dictionary definitions for altercation


an angry or heated discussion or quarrel; argument
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
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Word Origin and History for altercation

late 14c., from Old French altercacion (12c.) and directly from Latin altercationem (nominative altercatio) "a dispute, debate, discussion," noun of action from past participle stem of altercari "to dispute (with another)," from alter "other" (see alter).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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