Etymology 1Edit

Middle English bikeren ‘to attack’, from Middle Dutch bicken ‘to stab, attack’ (modern bikken ‘to hack’), from Proto-Germanic *bikjaną (compare Old English becca ‘pickax’, German picken ‘to peck, pick at’, Old Norse bikkja ‘to plunge into water’), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeg- ‘to smash, break’.


bicker ‎(third-person singular simple present bickers, present participle bickering, simple past and past participle bickered)

  1. To quarrel in a tiresome, insulting manner.
    They bickered about dinner every evening.
    • Barrow
      petty things about which men cark and bicker
  2. To move tremulously, quiver, shimmer (of a water stream, of a flame)
    • XIX cent, The Brook, by Tennyson
      I come from haunts of coot and hern, / I make a sudden sally, / And sparkle out among the fern, / To bicker down a valley.
    • Thomson
      They [streamlets] bickered through the sunny shade.
  3. To skirmish; to exchange blows; to fight.
    • Holland
      Two eagles had a conflict, and bickered together.
Derived termsEdit


bicker ‎(plural bickers)

  1. A skirmish; an encounter.
  2. (Scotland, obsolete) A fight with stones between two parties of boys.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jamieson to this entry?)
  3. A wrangle; also, a noise, as in angry contention.

Etymology 2Edit

See beaker.


bicker ‎(plural bickers)

  1. A small wooden vessel made of staves and hoops, like a tub.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

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