fisticuffs

Fisticuffs is the act of fighting, or boxing, with bare hands. A heated argument can sometimes end in fisticuffs, with both participants punching wildly at each other.

If someone says to you, "Let's take this outside and settle it with some fisticuffs," it means you're likely to end up in a street scuffle. This seventeenth century word isn't too common these days, but it's a colorful way to say "fistfight." The word's form may imitate handiwork, or it might be based on the now-obsolete adjective fisty, "related to the fists," combined with the verb cuff, or "hit."

Definitions of fisticuffs
  1. noun
    a fight with bare fists
    synonyms: fistfight, slugfest
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    types:
    punch-up
    a fistfight
    type of:
    combat, fight, fighting, scrap
    the act of fighting; any contest or struggle
  2. noun
    fighting with the fists
    synonyms: boxing, pugilism
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 5 types...
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    professional boxing
    boxing for money
    in-fighting
    boxing at close quarters
    fight
    a boxing or wrestling match
    rope-a-dope
    a boxing tactic: pretending to be trapped against the ropes while your opponent wears himself out throwing punches
    spar, sparring
    making the motions of attack and defense with the fists and arms; a part of training for a boxer
    type of:
    contact sport
    a sport that necessarily involves body contact between opposing players
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