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Brawl vs Broil vs Fracas vs Melee vs Row vs Rumpus vs Scrap

Brawl, broil, fracas, melee, row, rumpus, scrap are comparable when meaning a noisy fight or quarrel.

Brawl implies angry contentions, blows, and a noisy racket; it usually suggests participation by several persons.

Broil stresses disorder, confusion, and turmoil among the combatants more than the disturbance they cause others. The term may be used contemptuously in place of war, conflict, or controversy, but it is more often used of a violent fight or quarrel where the issues are not clear or significant or where the opposing parties are not clearly distinguished.

Fracas is applicable to a noisy quarrel or excited disturbance whether leading to blows or not; the term does not suggest as much vulgarity or as many participants as brawl, but it may imply as much noise and excitement.

Melee is applied to a more or less disorganized hand-to-hand conflict or to a dispute which resembles such a combat. In many instances the emphasis is so strongly on confusion and mix-up that the implication of combat or contention is weakened or lost.

Row is applicable to a demonstration or fight, whether a quarrel, a squabble, or a dispute, that is so public or so noisy as to attract attention.

Rumpus suggests even greater agitation and disturbance than row, for it usually connotes an uproar.

Scrap usually suggests a physical tussle but often implies little more than a noisy, sharp quarrel.