1, 2. encounter, engagement, affray, fray, action, skirmish, melee; scuffle, tussle, row, riot. Fight, combat, conflict, contest denote a struggle of some kind. Fight connotes a hand-to-hand struggle for supremacy, literally or in a figurative sense. Combat suggests an armed encounter, to settle a dispute. Conflict implies a bodily, mental, or moral struggle caused by opposing views, beliefs, etc. Contest applies to either a friendly or a hostile struggle for a definite prize or aim.