9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[fis-ti-kuhf] /ˈfɪs tɪˌkʌf/
a cuff or blow with the fist.
fisticuffs, combat with the fists.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to strike or fight with the fists.
Origin of fisticuff
1595-1605; earlier fisty cuff. See fist1, -y1, cuff2
Related forms
fisticuffer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fisticuffs
  • He had begun as a fisticuffs prosecutor in bribery and graft trials where he won the fame that launched him into politics.
  • He was an intellectual with the instincts of a street brawler, never happier than when engaged in moral or political fisticuffs.
  • It was perfect for a long time until things came to fisticuffs.
  • Then they talked louder, walked faster toward each other and tried settling the argument behind home plate with fisticuffs.
  • It includes the kind of salty language and occasional fisticuffs you'd expect from cantankerous old flyboys.
British Dictionary definitions for fisticuffs


plural noun
combat with the fists
Word Origin
C17: probably from fisty with the fist + cuff²
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 fisticuffs

c.1600, from fist (n.) + cuff, perhaps in imitation of handiwork. Related: Fisticuff.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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