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[non-kuh m-bat-nt, non-kom-buh-tnt] /ˌnɒn kəmˈbæt nt, nɒnˈkɒm bə tnt/
a person connected with a military force in some capacity other than that of a fighter, as a surgeon or chaplain.
a person who is not directly involved in combat; a civilian in wartime.
not constituting, designed for, or engaged in combat.
Origin of noncombatant
First recorded in 1805-15; non- + combatant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for non-combatant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Anything that is calmly facing them becomes at once a non-combatant.

    Johnny Bear E. T. Seton
  • Hellenic war ethics: non-combatant tillers of the soil to be let alone.

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
  • It was useless for his attendant friends to assert that he had been a non-combatant.

    Robert Louis Stevenson Margaret Moyes Black
  • Did the Imperial and Royal authorities regard him as a non-combatant?

  • The doctor was to go, as a matter of course, but he was to be a non-combatant.

    Under the Meteor Flag Harry Collingwood
  • “But I am a non-combatant, and it is my duty to attend to the wounded,” said my father.

    In New Granada W.H.G. Kingston
  • A non-combatant, he mingles freely with men whose business it is to fight.

    Expository Writing Mervin James Curl
British Dictionary definitions for non-combatant


a civilian in time of war
a member of the armed forces whose duties do not include fighting, such as a chaplain or surgeon
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 non-combatant

also noncombatant, 1809, from non- + combatant. A word from the Napoleonic wars.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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