9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[skwob-uh l] /ˈskwɒb əl/
verb (used without object), squabbled, squabbling.
to engage in a petty quarrel.
verb (used with object), squabbled, squabbling.
Printing. to disarrange and mix (composed type).
a petty quarrel.
Origin of squabble
Swedish dialect
Norwegian dialect
1595-1605; probably < Scandinavian; compare Swedish dialect skvabbel a quarrel, gossip, Norwegian dialect skvabba to prattle
Related forms
squabbler, noun
squabblingly, adverb
unsquabbling, adjective
1. quarrel, wrangle, bicker, fight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for squabble
  • Those who squabble over space disagree about why there are more species in the tropics than anywhere else.
  • The squabble about how to fix this problem had dragged on for years.
  • He said, however, that they had had a little squabble because he was going to buy a motor car business.
  • Other corporate siblings squabble over the family name.
  • The animals no sooner appear than they start to squabble over who will rule as king.
  • Cartels always find yet another reproach to squabble with each other.
  • Nor should it surprise anyone that this squabble attracted the interest of powerful figures in the church.
  • The mad-cow saga has become a squabble over what sorts of beef should be sold.
  • But they rarely degenerate to the point where a company gets into a public squabble with a fired auditor.
  • The details of the squabble over the estate are less important than the lesson to be drawn from it.
British Dictionary definitions for squabble


(intransitive) to quarrel over a small matter
a petty quarrel
Derived Forms
squabbler, noun
Word Origin
C17: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Swedish dialect sqvabbel to quarrel
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 squabble

c.1600, probably of imitative origin (cf. dialectal Swedish skvabbel "quarrel," dialectal German schwabbeln "to babble, prattle"). The verb is recorded from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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