Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for duel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You have been fighting a duel, I suppose, to be in such a state?

    A Woman of Thirty Honore de Balzac
  • We not only have no right to endanger another's life by a duel, but we have no right to endanger our own.

  • In a duel with Aias the spear of Hector pierced the bronze and six layers of hide on his shield, but stuck in the seventh.

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
  • I remember that during the night preceding the duel I did not sleep a single moment.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • This was nothing less than to fight a duel for him, with a gentleman whose sister it was pretended he had used ill.

    The Vicar of Wakefield Oliver Goldsmith
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for duel

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for duel

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for duel