1 [bat-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.

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

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. Unabridged


2 [bat-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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
battle (ˈbætəl)
1.  a fight between large armed forces; military or naval engagement; combat
2.  conflict; contention; struggle: his battle for recognition
3.  do battle, give battle, join battle to start fighting
vb (when intr, often foll by against, for, or with)
4.  to fight in or as if in military combat; contend (with): she battled against cancer
5.  to struggle in order to achieve something or arrive somewhere: he battled through the crowd
6.  (Austral) (intr) to scrape a living, esp by doing odd jobs
[C13: from Old French bataile, from Late Latin battālia exercises performed by soldiers, from battuere to beat]

Battle1 (ˈbætəl)
a town in SE England, in East Sussex: site of the Battle of Hastings (1066); medieval abbey. Pop: 5190 (2001)

Battle2 (ˈbætəl)
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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.Fr. bataille "battle, single combat," also "inner turmoil, harsh circumstances; army, body of soldiers," from L.L. battualia "exercise of soldiers and gladiators in fighting and fencing," from L. battuere "to beat, to strike" (see batter (v.)). Phrase battle
royal "fight involving several combatants" is from 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see half the battle; losing battle; pitched battle.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


town (parish), Rother district, administrative county of East Sussex, historic county of Sussex, England, just inland from Hastings. A ridge to the southeast, called Senlac, was the site of the famous battle in which William I the Conqueror defeated the English in 1066. Before the battle William vowed to build an abbey on the spot if victorious, and in 1094 its church was consecrated, with an altar standing where the English king Harold II fell. The great gateway, built in 1338, survives alongside the town, but after the Reformation the church was destroyed and the abbey converted into a mansion that is now occupied by a school. Pop. (2001) 6,048.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for battle
As one historian notes, the arizonan had lost much of his zest for battle.
This makes the plot easier to follow, and captures the urgency of the climactic
She used a whip that she could charge with energy, as a weapon, in battle.
Ship of the line a sailing warship capable of standing in the line of battle.
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