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[doo-uh l, dyoo-] /ˈdu əl, ˈdyu-/
a prearranged combat between two persons, fought with deadly weapons according to an accepted code of procedure, especially to settle a private quarrel.
any contest between two persons or parties.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), dueled, dueling or (especially British) duelled, duelling.
to fight in a duel.
Origin of duel
1585-95; earlier duell < Medieval Latin duellum, Latin: earlier form of bellum war, probably maintained and given sense “duel” by association with Latin duo two
Related forms
duelistic; especially British, duellistic, adjective
outduel, verb (used with object), outdueled, outdueling or (especially British) outduelled, outduelling.
Can be confused
dual, duel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for duel
  • But they have prompted a running duel at the heart of government.
  • Each immortal acquires power by killing another immortal in a one-on-one duel.
  • The built-in tutorial walks you through the game, and the lowest-level duel is so easy it's practically a tutorial.
  • The new duel chemists vs physicists has ideological origin.
  • If you can remember three spells you can duel your fellow wizards.
  • But males in particular duel constantly to establish dominance.
  • As with the previous swords, the blade is firm enough for a spirited duel but won't do any permanent damage.
  • The duel layers will keep out the strongest gusts of wind.
  • They should come up with a reality show where two groups of people get to duel for what they believe in.
  • It's firm enough to make for a spirited duel, but soft enough to do no damage when it strikes.
British Dictionary definitions for duel


a prearranged combat with deadly weapons between two people following a formal procedure in the presence of seconds and traditionally fought until one party was wounded or killed, usually to settle a quarrel involving a point of honour
a contest or conflict between two persons or parties
verb (intransitive) duels, duelling, duelled (US) duels, dueling, dueled
to fight in a duel
to contest closely
Derived Forms
dueller, duellist, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin duellum, from Latin, poetical variant of bellum war; associated by folk etymology with Latin duo two
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 duel

1590s (from late 13c. in Latin form), from Medieval Latin duellum "combat between two persons," by association with Latin duo "two," but originally from Latin duellum "war," an Old Latin form of bellum (see bellicose). Retained in poetic and archaic language and apparently given a special meaning in Medieval or Late Latin of "one-on-one combat" on fancied connection with duo "two."


1640s, see duel (n.). Related: Dueled; dueling; duelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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duel in Technology
A front end to gdb by Michael Golan DUEL implements a language designed for debugging C programs. It features efficient ways to select and display data items. It is normally linked into the gdb executable, but could stand alone. It interprets a subset of C in addition to its own language.
Version 1.10.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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