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battle royal

noun, plural battles royal.
a fight in which more than two combatants are engaged.
a heated argument:
After a while the discussion turned into a battle royal.
Origin of battle royal
1665-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for battle-royal
Historical Examples
  • Then there would have been a battle-royal that had set the earth quaking.

    Plays--First Series August Strindberg
  • So this battle-royal in art commenced and raged with virulence.

    Great Musical Composers George T. Ferris
  • Now and then they witnessed a battle-royal between two of the monsters who were pursuing the same prey.

    A Honeymoon in Space George Griffith
  • What passed during that interview in which the battle-royal between her and her niece occurred, she never revealed.

    The Virginians William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Nevertheless, the interval before the battle-royal began was very trying to her.

    Court Beauties of Old Whitehall W. R. H. Trowbridge
  • More snow had been scooped from the window-sill by Fred and Joe, and soon a battle-royal was in progress in the dormitory.

    The Mystery at Putnam Hall Arthur M. Winfield
  • This record on one occasion depicted a battle-royal at breakfast, "over the marmalade," Sally said.

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • Then stood forth the Tinman in his ire, and a battle-royal commenced.

  • But this leads us to the doctrine of the universal flux, about which a battle-royal is always going on in the cities of Ionia.

    Theaetetus Plato
  • The British Lion, or any other lion, cannot always have a worthy enemy to combat, or a battle-royal to deliver.

    The Virginians William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for battle-royal

battle royal

a fight, esp with fists or cudgels, involving more than two combatants; melee
a long violent 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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Slang definitions & phrases for battle-royal

battle royal

noun phrase

A general quarrel or fight; brannigan, donnybrook: What began as a mild disagreement escalated into a battle royal (1670s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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