"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[frey-kuh s; British frak-ah] /ˈfreɪ kəs; British ˈfræk ɑ/
a noisy, disorderly disturbance or fight; riotous brawl; uproar.
Origin of fracas
1720-30; < French < Italian fracasso, derivative of fracassare to smash, equivalent to fra- (< Latin infrā among) completely + cassare to break; see cassation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fracas
  • The fracas is occurring amid the release of the first comprehensive industrywide study of commercial costs.
  • When it responded with subtraction, a public-relations fracas ensued.
  • But more worrying is what the fracas reveals about the bank's management.
  • My earlier post covered and tracked this fracas over a paper finding signs of alien life in a meteor.
  • Several others who participated in the fracas were also roughly handled.
  • The fracas over file sharing has prompted many proposals, but no grand solution.
  • Leaving aside the fracas over the police chief, he has hardly set city politics alight.
  • The fracas began, the police said, when someone threw a bottle or a brick at a car.
  • Trumbo's plot trips over logic, the characters in his small-town fracas are honest.
  • Six of the students were arrested but not charged after the fracas.
British Dictionary definitions for fracas


a noisy quarrel; brawl
Word Origin
C18: from French, from fracasser to shatter, from Latin frangere to break, influenced by quassāre to shatter
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 fracas

1727, from French fracas (15c.), from Italian fracasso "uproar, crash," back-formation from fracassare "to smash, crash, break in pieces," from fra-, a shortening of Latin infra "below" + Italian cassare "to break," from Latin quassare "to shake" (see quash).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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