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[kuh m-bat-nt, kom-buh-tuh nt, kuhm-] /kəmˈbæt nt, ˈkɒm bə tənt, ˈkʌm-/
a nation engaged in active fighting with enemy forces.
a person or group that fights.
combating; fighting:
the combatant armies.
disposed to combat; combative.
Origin of combatant
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English combataunt < Middle French combatant. See combat, -ant
Related forms
precombatant, noun
uncombatant, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for combatant
  • The bomber is not a suspect, he is an enemy soldier or enemy combatant.
  • Yet in the world of martial arts, victory does not always go to the strongest combatant.
  • Only later was he transferred to a navy brig as an enemy combatant, and then solely on the authority of the president.
  • So in such disputes, he is a non-combatant: a counsellor but not a player.
  • But the feral wildness of the disciplined combatant never comes through.
  • By his rhetoric and by his actions he has unquestionably proven himself to be a combatant.
  • After three years of being held without charge as an enemy combatant, he was indicted last year.
  • Later they moot the possibility of changing standards for non-combatant roles.
  • Now we've got a nonhuman combatant, in many cases remotely controlled by humans.
  • US officials determined that one of them is no longer an enemy combatant.
British Dictionary definitions for combatant


/ˈkɒmbətənt; ˈkʌm-/
a person or group engaged in or prepared for a fight, struggle, or dispute
engaged in or ready for combat
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 combatant

mid-15c. (adj.), late 15c. (n.), from Old French combatant (Modern French combattant) "skilled at fighting, warlike" (also used as a noun in Old French), present participle adjective of combattre (see combat (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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