verb (used with object), com·bat·ed, com·bat·ing or (especially British) com·bat·ted, com·bat·ting.
verb (used without object), com·bat·ed, com·bat·ing or (especially British) com·bat·ted, com·bat·ting.
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Origin of combat
synonym study for combat
OTHER WORDS FROM combat
Words nearby combat
What does combat mean?
Combat is most commonly used in a military context to refer to active fighting among opposing armies. To engage in combat is to engage in fighting.
Hand-to-hand combat involves close fighting, often literally with one’s hands.
Combat is sometimes used more broadly or figuratively to refer to active conflict between two people or groups, as in The two corporations are preparing to do combat in the courtroom. The term verbal combat refers to fighting with words.
Combat is also commonly used as a verb meaning to oppose or work to defeat. It’s especially used when the thing to be defeated is intangible or abstract, as in We need to combat climate change or Our organization works to combat poverty. The figurative senses of the verbs fight and battle are close synonyms of this sense of combat.
Example: The objective of basic training is to prepare our soldiers for combat.
Where does combat come from?
The first records of the word combat come from the 1500s. It comes from the Late Latin combattere, from com-, meaning “with” or “together,” and the Latin verb battuere, meaning “to strike” or “to beat.” The word battle is based on this same root.
Combat most often implies physical fighting. Military combat on a battlefield can involve close combat—hand-to-hand fighting. This is how the word is used in the name of the popular and controversial video game series Mortal Kombat. The title calls to mind the term martial combat, which is fighting using martial arts.
When combat is used as a verb, it often likens the conflict to a military battle, implying that the thing that’s being combatted is a formidable opponent—that it won’t be defeated without a fight.
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What are some other forms related to combat?
- combatable (adjective)
What are some synonyms for the noun combat?
What are some synonyms for the verb combat?
What are some words that share a root or word element with combat?
What are some words that often get used in discussing combat?
How is combat used in real life?
Combat is most commonly used in terms of military action. As a verb, it usually means to work to change a negative situation.
73 yrs ago tomorrow was my dad's 1st day of combat in WWII. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge & was badly wounded. They really were the Greatest Generation & suffered things we can't imagine. I re read his "war diary" today. Here's a piece. #VeteransDay pic.twitter.com/aDdTCato3j
— Jimmy Roberts (@JimmyRobertsNBC) November 10, 2017
BREAKING: Civil rights lawyer Larry Krasner, who wants to combat justice system inequalities, is elected Philly's top prosecutor.
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 8, 2017
"Food systems are the dark horse of climate change."
Even if emissions from fossil fuel burning were halted immediately, we still cannot combat the climate crisis without taking on animal agriculture's ever-rising greenhouse gas emissions.https://t.co/akA8o8P8Cs
— Friends of the Earth (Action) (@foe_us) November 16, 2020
Try using combat!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of combat?
How to use combat in a sentence
It was a fitting start for the man now known as Arslan Ash, a 24-year-old esports superstar thanks to his prowess at the combat game Tekken.
The combat appeared on a video screen with small blips for each aircraft.An F-16 pilot took on A.I. in a dogfight. Here’s who won|Aaron Pressman|August 20, 2020|Fortune
As one of the biggest fires on a Navy ship outside of combat smoldered for a third day, so raged community members’ concerns over the contents of the billowing smoke.Answers on Navy Fire’s Health Impacts Won’t Come Right Away|MacKenzie Elmer|July 14, 2020|Voice of San Diego
All but one woman showed signs of having ridden horses in combat.Skeletons hint that ancient societies had women warriors|Bruce Bower|May 28, 2020|Science News For Students
This naval tactic gave the Romans the upper-hand since they were known for their expertise in close-quarter combat.Know Your Historical Warships: From 7th Century BC – 17th Century AD|Dattatreya Mandal|April 4, 2020|Realm of History
The Perfect Storm writer talks combat brotherhood and the threat posed by growing wealth inequality.Sebastian Junger on War, Loss, and a Divided America|The Daily Beast Video|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The State Innovation Exchange, a Democratic group, has been set up to combat corporate-led right-wing organizations.
From 2012 to 2013, 31 men left Aarhus bound for combat in Syria.What the U.S. Can Learn from Europe About Dealing with Terrorists|Scott Beauchamp|December 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It was an attempt to combat a growing chill on free speech in Turkey while placing his newspaper at the center of the debate.
Excessive force to combat minor infractions of the law is the central issue today.
He looked strangely out of place in the dusty combat uniform.Sense of Obligation|Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
The morning came and with it Shaffer, and with him five hundred and fifty men, eager for the combat.The Courier of the Ozarks|Byron A. Dunn
Wright and his followers regard the opsonic index as an index of the power of the body to combat bacterial invasion.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
But Strongarm lived in the age of combat when people fought animals at close range.The Later Cave-Men|Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
He demands from the king the gift of the first combat that shall offer, which is granted as a mere joke.The Three Days' Tournament|Jessie L. Weston
British Dictionary definitions for combat
noun (ˈkɒmbæt, -bət, ˈkʌm-)
- an action fought between two military forces
- (as modifier)a combat jacket