[ verb kuhm-bat, kom-bat, kuhm-; noun kom-bat, kuhm- ]
/ verb k蓹m藞b忙t, 藞k蓲m b忙t, 藞k蕦m-; noun 藞k蓲m b忙t, 藞k蕦m- /
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See synonyms for: combat / combated / combating on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), com路bat路ed, com路bat路ing or (especially British) com路bat路ted, com路bat路ting.
to fight or contend against; oppose vigorously: to combat crime.
verb (used without object), com路bat路ed, com路bat路ing or (especially British) com路bat路ted, com路bat路ting.
to battle; contend: to combat with disease.
Military. active, armed fighting with enemy forces.
a fight, struggle, or controversy, as between two persons, teams, or ideas.
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Origin of combat

1535鈥45; <Middle French combat (noun), combattre (v.) <Late Latin combattere, equivalent to Latin com-com- + Late Latin battere, for Latin battuere to strike, beat

synonym study for combat

3. See fight


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does聽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.

This kind of combat most commonly takes place on a battlefield or warzone on the ground (called a combat zone). Aerial combat involves fighting in the air among air forces.

Hand-to-hand combat involves close fighting, often literally with one鈥檚 hands.

Combat is often used as a modifier (adjective) in terms that refer to things related to or involving combat, such as combat training, combat medic, combat fatigue, and combat boots.

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鈥檚 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.

The sides engaging in combat can be called combatants. The adjective combative means inclined to fight.

Example: The objective of basic training is to prepare our soldiers for combat.

Where does聽combat come from?

The first records of the word combat come from the 1500s. It comes from the Late Latin combattere, from com-, meaning 鈥渨ith鈥 or 鈥渢ogether,鈥 and the Latin verb battuere, meaning 鈥渢o strike鈥 or 鈥渢o beat.鈥 The word battle is based on this same root.

Combat most often implies physical fighting. Military combat on a battlefield can involve close combat鈥攈and-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鈥檚 being combatted is a formidable opponent鈥攖hat it won鈥檛 be defeated without a fight.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to combat?聽

  • 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?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing combat?

How is聽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.


Try using聽combat!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of combat?聽

A. warfare
B. action
C. peace
D. fighting

How to use combat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for combat


noun (藞k蓲mb忙t, -b蓹t, 藞k蕦m-)
a fight, conflict, or struggle
  1. an action fought between two military forces
  2. (as modifier)a combat jacket
single combat a fight between two individuals; duel
close combat or hand-to-hand combat fighting at close quarters
verb (k蓹m藞b忙t, 藞k蓲mb忙t, 藞k蕦m-) -bats, -bating or -bated
(tr) to fight or defy
(intr; often foll by with or against) to struggle or strive (against); be in conflict (with)to combat against disease

Derived forms of combat

combatable, adjectivecombater, noun

Word Origin for combat

C16: from French, from Old French combattre, from Vulgar Latin combattere (unattested), from Latin com- with + battuere to beat, hit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012