Word of the DayFriday, June 17, 2005
\awl-tuhr-KAY-shuhn\ , noun;
A heated, noisy, or angry dispute; noisy controversy or argument.
Like Epaminondas, he fought continuously with his fellow generals and was nearly court-martialed for his altercations with his superiors -- like Epaminondas he was relieved of command after his greatest victories.
-- Victor Davis Hanson, The Soul Of Battle
He indulged in a heated altercation with his fellow-townsmen over some land which they thought theirs, though it was certainly his.
-- Carl Van Doren, The American Novel
The professor had had a trifling altercation in the morning with that young gentleman, owing to a difference about the introduction of crackers in school-time.
-- William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
Altercation comes from Latin altercatio, altercation-, from altercari, "to dispute (with another)," from alter, "other." The verb form is altercate.
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