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Battle royal

a fight in which more than two combatants are engaged.
a heated argument:
After a while the discussion turned into a battle royal.
Contemporary Examples

A faceless person casually explains that, since he has “to be there anyway,” he “might as well take part in the battle royal.”
American Nightmare: Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ at 60 Nathaniel Rich June 27, 2012

Historical Examples

She went and sat on the sand bank by her side and explained to her how the battle royal started and what fun it had been.
A House Party with the Tucker Twins Nell Speed

Her head went down and her back humped, and she settled to a battle royal.
The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum

A kicked ball had been fumbled on the goal line and there was a battle royal on the part of the players to get the coveted ball.
Football Days William H. Edwards

When we leave, there will be a battle royal between them and the buzzards for the beef.
The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis

Then, with Hinkey growing rapidly angrier and putting forth more strength, there was battle royal.
Uncle Sam’s Boys as Sergeants H. Irving Hancock

Two dogs would rush in and start a battle royal on the floor.
Occasion for Disaster Gordon Randall Garrett

His request was granted, and a battle royal was to mark the second half of the day.
The Price of the Prairie Margaret Hill McCarter

But that a battle royal was imminent, was believed on all sides.
Stephen A. Douglas Allen Johnson

But the lad’s jealousy and his love for Steering were in battle royal now, and Piney kept far from his hero, on the misty hills.
Sally of Missouri R. E. Young

a fight, esp with fists or cudgels, involving more than two combatants; melee
a long violent argument

noun phrase

A general quarrel or fight; brannigan, donnybrook: What began as a mild disagreement escalated into a battle royal (1670s+)


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