verb (used without object)

  1. to engage in petulant or peevish argument; wrangle: The two were always bickering.
  2. to run rapidly; move quickly; rush; hurry: a stream bickering down the valley.
  3. to flicker; glitter: The sun bickered through the trees.


  1. an angry, petty dispute or quarrel; contention.

noun Scot.

  1. any wooden dish or bowl, especially a wooden porridge bowl.
  2. Obsolete. a wooden drinking cup.

verb (intr)

  1. to argue over petty matters; squabble
  2. poetic
    1. (esp of a stream) to run quickly
    2. to flicker; glitter


  1. a petty squabble

early 14c., bikere, “to skirmish, fight,” perhaps from Middle Dutch bicken “to slash, stab, attack,” + -er, Middle English frequentative suffix. Meaning “to quarrel” is from mid-15c. Related: Bickered; bickering.


c.1300, skirmish, battle; from the same source as bicker (v.). In modern use, often to describe the sound of a flight of an arrow or other repeated, loud, rapid sounds, in which sense it is perhaps at least partly echoic.

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