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[bat-l] /ˈbæt l/
a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing military forces:
the battle of Waterloo.
participation in such hostile encounters or engagements:
wounds received in battle.
a fight between two persons or animals:
ordering a trial by battle to settle the dispute.
any conflict or struggle:
a battle for control of the Senate.
Archaic. a battalion.
verb (used without object), battled, battling.
to engage in battle:
ready to battle with the enemy.
to work very hard or struggle; strive:
to battle for freedom.
verb (used with object), battled, battling.
to fight (a person, army, cause, etc.):
We battled strong winds and heavy rains in our small boat.
to force or accomplish by fighting, struggling, etc.:
He battled his way to the top of his profession.
give / do battle, to enter into conflict; fight:
He was ready to do battle for his beliefs.
Origin of battle1
1250-1300; Middle English bataile < Old French < Vulgar Latin *battālia for Late Latin battuālia (neuter plural) gladiatorial exercises, equivalent to battu(ere) to strike (see bate2) + -ālia, neuter plural of -ālis -al2
Related forms
battler, noun
1. contest, conflict, war. Battle, action, skirmish mean a conflict between organized armed forces. A battle is a prolonged and general conflict pursued to a definite decision: the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. A skirmish is a slight engagement, often on the periphery of an area of battle: several minor skirmishes. An action can be a battle or a skirmish or can refer to actual fighting or combat: a major military action; action along the border; He saw action in the campaign. 2. warfare, combat, fighting. 10. conflict. 7. contest.


[bat-l] /ˈbæt l/
verb (used with object), battled, battling. Archaic.
to furnish (a building or wall) with battlements; crenelate.
1300-50; Middle English batailen < Middle French bataillier to provide with batailles. See battlement Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for battling
  • The road and the stream were battling for mastery, and the stream had the better of it.
  • He is a bane to raccoons, hunting them fearlessly in the marshes and battling as readily in the water as on the bank.
  • The law professor turned his artistic talents into a powerful tool for battling overzealous copyright laws.
  • Clearly, in this economy, academics aren't the only ones battling hopelessness and frustration.
  • It knows it has no authentic ideology left to offer people battling for their own vision of individual freedom.
  • Polite quibbling, no matter how trenchant, is different from battling.
  • There is a time for battling over first principles and political philosophy, especially for those of us who enjoy doing it.
  • But the idea is certainly easy enough to test out for anyone who's battling a weight problem.
  • It is battling against national stereotypes that no longer apply while facing newer and much more lethal challenges.
  • But the difficulty he has in battling sour economic sentiment will likely vary from state to state.
British Dictionary definitions for battling


a fight between large armed forces; military or naval engagement; combat
conflict; contention; struggle: his battle for recognition
do battle, give battle, join battle, to start fighting
when intr, often foll by against, for, or with. to fight in or as if in military combat; contend (with): she battled against cancer
to struggle in order to achieve something or arrive somewhere: he battled through the crowd
(intransitive) (Austral) to scrape a living, esp by doing odd jobs
Derived Forms
battler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French bataile, from Late Latin battālia exercises performed by soldiers, from battuere to beat


a town in SE England, in East Sussex: site of the Battle of Hastings (1066); medieval abbey. Pop: 5190 (2001)


Kathleen. born 1948, US opera singer: a coloratura soprano, she made her professional debut in 1972 and sang with New York City's Metropolitan Opera (1977–94)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for battling



c.1300, from Old French bataille "battle, single combat," also "inner turmoil, harsh circumstances; army, body of soldiers," from Late Latin battualia "exercise of soldiers and gladiators in fighting and fencing," from Latin battuere "to beat, to strike" (see batter (v.)). Phrase battle royal "fight involving several combatants" is from 1670s.


early 14c., "to fight," from French batailler (12c.), from bataille (see battle (n.)). Related: Battled; battling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with battling
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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