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[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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for squabbles
  • One can get hung up on these squabbles and lose sight of what an outstanding find early hominid fossils really are.
  • Some miss their targets, while neighborhood squabbles are frequent on the crowded wire.
  • Years of drought and poor crops may have been aggravated by village squabbles.
  • Academe has always been fragmented by internecine squabbles about scholarly minutiae.
  • In the years that followed, the partnership survived many squabbles.
  • The squabbles and revisions meant that many people stopped caring about the rebuilding that was finally taking place.
  • What's funny is listening to squabbles amongst these groups.
  • They both take me further from the mystery of the universe into the realm of petty squabbles.
  • It was caused by legal squabbles and contractual difficulties.
  • What they seldom admit is that languages are a logistical and expensive headache, as well as a cause of nationalistic squabbles.
British Dictionary definitions for squabbles


(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 squabbles



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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