I'm looking for a word that means an uncivil argument. Particularly one that would evoke images of aggression and vulgar word usage with no self control. I realize that I could just describe it like the above but I was wondering if there was a specific word that meant the above.


4 Answers 4


A tirade noun OED

  1. A volley of words; a long and vehement speech on some subject; a declamation; a protracted harangue, esp. of denunciation, abuse, or invective.

Tirade, akin to the Italian word tirata: volley, a very angry hurling of harsh words and strings of profanity. Tirades don't necessarily have to include cursing as any long, drawn out speech or epic declaration can be a tirade.


Knock-down Drag-Down jumps to mind. This is a metaphorical description that implies a physical fight which keeps going even when one of the combatants has been knocked down and they drag the other guy to the floor to continue the fight. Describing an argument this way is very evocative.

Also tumultuous meaning loud, violent, and turbulent (which is also a good word).


"a stink" seems like a good fit, as in "raise or make a stink".

"I just can't believe you're making a stink over such an insignificant matter."

"The old lady raised a stink when the taxi-driver tried to overcharge her."

"raise a stink" - to be very vocal in one's displeasure about something; to make a scene.

  • My mom raised a stink when the store refused to accept her return without a receipt.
  • One of the customers is raising a stink about the service charge we included on his bill.

Might throw in "vitriol" to color that narrative.

Definition of vitriol 1: something felt to resemble vitriol especially in caustic quality especially : virulence of feeling or of speech

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