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[verb kuh m-bat, kom-bat, kuhm-; noun kom-bat, kuhm-] /verb kəmˈbæt, ˈkɒm bæt, ˈkʌm-; noun ˈkɒm bæt, ˈkʌm-/
verb (used with object), combated, combating or (especially British) combatted, combatting.
to fight or contend against; oppose vigorously:
to combat crime.
verb (used without object), combated, combating or (especially British) combatted, combatting.
to battle; contend:
to combat with disease.
Military. active, armed fighting with enemy forces.
a fight, struggle, or controversy, as between two persons, teams, or ideas.
Origin of combat
1535-45; < Middle French combat (noun), combattre (v.) < Late Latin combattere, equivalent to Latin com- com- + Late Latin battere, for Latin battuere to strike, beat
Related forms
combatable, adjective
intercombat, noun
precombat, noun, verb, precombated, precombating or (especially British) precombatted, precombatting.
self-combating, adjective
uncombatable, adjective
uncombated, adjective
1, 2. struggle, contest. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for combat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But they were outnumbered in the combat which ensued and laid down their arms.

    The History of Cuba, vol. 1 Willis Fletcher Johnson
  • In front of Judge Gould's office the combat was at its height.

  • I saw men in the frenzy of combat swept into moments of unbelievable ferocity.

    The Wasted Generation Owen Johnson
  • In the man's emphasis the girl realized at last the inefficacy of her efforts to combat his will.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Pliny gives an account of a combat between one of these dogs, first with a lion, and then with an elephant.

    Anecdotes of Dogs Edward Jesse
British Dictionary definitions for combat


noun (ˈkɒmbæt; -bət; ˈkʌm-)
a fight, conflict, or struggle
  1. an action fought between two military forces
  2. (as modifier): a combat jacket
single combat, a fight between two individuals; duel
close combat, hand-to-hand combat, fighting at close quarters
verb (kəmˈbæt; ˈkɒmbæt; ˈkʌm-) -bats, -bating, -bated
(transitive) to fight or defy
(intransitive; often foll by with or against) to struggle or strive (against); be in conflict (with): to combat against disease
Derived Forms
combatable, adjective
combater, noun
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Old French combattre, from Vulgar Latin combattere (unattested), from Latin com- with + battuere to beat, hit
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 combat

1560s, from Middle French combat (16c.), from Old French combattre (12c.), from Late Latin combattere, from Latin com- "with" (each other) (see com-) + battuere "to beat, fight" (see batter (v.)). Related: Combated; combating; combatted; combatting.


1560s, from Middle French combat (16c.), from combattre (see combat (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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