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[brawl] /brɔl/
a noisy quarrel, squabble, or fight.
a bubbling or roaring noise; a clamor.
Slang. a large, noisy party.
verb (used without object)
to quarrel angrily and noisily; wrangle.
to make a bubbling or roaring noise, as water flowing over a rocky bed.
Origin of brawl
1350-1400; (v.) Middle English brawlen, brallen to raise a clamor, quarrel, boast; of uncertain origin; (noun) Middle English braule, brall, derivative of the noun
Related forms
brawler, noun
brawly, adjective
outbrawl, verb (used with object)
unbrawling, adjective
1. wrangle, row, tumult, affray, altercation, rumpus. See disorder. 4. squabble, fight, bicker, row. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for brawl
  • Once you are able to see the early signs of a fight, you can stop the behavior before it progresses to an all out brawl.
  • In preparation for the fight he tried to refine her style and tone down her tendency to brawl.
  • There was no parliamentary brawl per se, that is-and only a bit of physical scuffling.
  • In a stunning display of amphibian machismo, tree frogs boogie before they brawl in this unprecedented video.
  • He warns that they'll bicker and possibly even brawl.
  • It's boys who brawl and punch and work it out with their fists.
  • There was a brawl in parliament when the pact was debated.
  • Another ill-tempered diplomatic brawl would further harm the treaty, which is taking a battering all round.
  • He followed them to an empty lot where a bar brawl was being staged and filmed.
  • He expected a house-to-house brawl that would last several days.
British Dictionary definitions for brawl


a loud disagreement or fight
(US, slang) an uproarious party
verb (intransitive)
to quarrel or fight noisily; squabble
(esp of water) to flow noisily
Derived Forms
brawler, noun
brawling, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C14: probably related to Dutch brallen to boast, behave aggressively


a dance: the English version of the branle
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 brawl

late 14c., braulen "to cry out, scold, quarrel," probably related to Dutch brallen "to boast," or from French brailler "to shout noisily," frequentative of braire "to bray" (see bray (v.)). Meaning "quarrel, wrangle, squabble" is from early 15c. Related: Brawled; brawling.


mid-15c., from brawl (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for brawl



A noisy, riotous party

[1920s+; fr brawl, ''a noisy fight,'' of obscure origin; perhaps related to Dutch brallen, ''brag,'' and Low German brallen, ''shout, roar''; perhaps fr French branle, ''an energetic circle dance'']

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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