Check out new words added to


[kuh m-bat-iv, kom-buh-tiv, kuhm-] /kəmˈbæt ɪv, ˈkɒm bə tɪv, ˈkʌm-/
ready or inclined to fight; pugnacious:
He displayed a most unpleasant, combative attitude.
Origin of combative
1825-35; combat + -ive
Related forms
combatively, adverb
combativeness, combativity
[kom-buh-tiv-i-tee] /ˌkɒm bəˈtɪv ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
uncombative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for combative
  • The use of antipsychotic drugs to tamp down the agitation, combative behavior and outbursts of dementia patients has soared.
  • Otherwise your chair may see you as nitpicking and combative.
  • The authorities seem to have had second thoughts about encouraging more combative contests.
  • He is a confronting sort of individual, polite but gruff, courteous but combative.
  • One group favored a more combative demand for inclusion.
  • They were combative and asked bizarre questions that had nothing to do with the job description.
  • Kirk was thoughtful and sympathetic but also decisive and combative.
  • It was a reminder of what he has always been as a boxer and sometimes as a citizen: cold, cruel, combative.
  • The combative dogs are also bred to fight against one another.
  • Given her combative sensibility, it also seems likely that she'll enjoy those fights.
British Dictionary definitions for combative


/ˈkɒmbətɪv; ˈkʌm-/
eager or ready to fight, argue, etc; aggressive
Derived Forms
combatively, adverb
combativeness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for combative

1819, from combat + -ive. In 1820s-30s, much associated with phrenology. Related: Combatively; combativeness (1815).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for combative

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for combative

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with combative