battle royale

[ bat-l roi-al ]
/ ˈbæt l rɔɪˈæl /

noun, plural battle royales, battles royale.

a fight, often to the death, in which more than two combatants are engaged and the victor is the last surviving participant.


of or relating to a genre of fiction, television show, movie, or video game that features this kind of elimination fight to the death: battle royale FPS games;a battle royale movie trilogy set in a dystopian future.



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Also last man stand·ing .

Origin of battle royale

First recorded in 1830–40; originally a variant spelling of battle royal

historical usage of battle royale

Battle royale dates back to the 19th century as a variant spelling of battle royal , but the current popularity of this spelling and the pronunciation [roi-al] /rɔɪˈæl/ over [roi-uhl] /ˈrɔɪ əl/ can be traced back to the Japanese movie from 2000 adapted from the 1999 novel Batoru Rowaiaru (Battle Royale). The cult classic film tells the story of 40 high school students forced to fight to the death by sadistic adults working for a fascist government. Battle royale is also applied to later works of fiction with similar forced death match combat, like The Hunger Games series. A genre of video game like Fortnite in which 100 player characters are placed in a combat zone and eliminate each other until the final surviving player character wins the game is also called battle royale. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020