spoiling for a fight

spoil for (something)

To be particularly eager or enthusiastic for something, especially a fight, disagreement, or conflict. Tom seems to spoil for a fight the moment he's in the same room as me. I just don't know what it is about me that makes him so antagonistic. We've done everything we can to reach a reasonable compromise with the other party, but they have been spoiling for an argument at every turn.
See also: spoil

spoiling for a fight

Especially argumentative or combative; eager to engage in an argument or a fight. My mother is just spoiling for a fight when she makes comments like those—don't let her get to you. After a week with very little sleep and a lot on my mind, I was spoiling for a fight by the time I got home.
See also: fight, spoil
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

spoiling for a fight

argumentative; asking for a fight. They were just spoiling for a fight, and they went outside to settle the matter. She was grouchy, and you could tell she had been spoiling for a fight all day.
See also: fight, spoil
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

spoiling for a fight

in. argumentative; asking for a fight. They were just spoiling for a fight, and they went outside to settle the matter.
See also: fight, spoil
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
* Before the Public Sector strike on Wednesday, Tory Minister Michael Gove claimed it was militant trade unionists who were spoiling for a fight causing it.
Gove was right, someone was spoiling for a fight. His own Government.