OTHER WORDS FROM combatantpre·com·bat·ant, nounun·com·bat·ant, adjective
Words nearby combatant
MORE ABOUT COMBATANT
What does combatant mean?
A combatant is one of the sides engaged in combat—active fighting.
In war, enemy combatants are the opposing sides in the war or battle.
In boxing and other martial arts, the two fighters can be called combatants.
The word 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 sides in this kind of combat can also be called combatants.
Less commonly, combatant can be used as an adjective meaning engaged in fighting. It can also mean inclined to fight, but the word combative is more commonly used in this way.
Example: If diplomacy fails, the two nations could become enemy combatants.
Where does combatant come from?
The first records of the word combatant come from the 1400s. 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. The suffix -ant is used to form nouns.
Just like there can’t be a battle without at least two sides, a person or group really can’t be considered a combatant unless they are engaged in combat with another combatant. The word is most often associated with physical fighting. Even when the word is used in a figurative way, it often likens the sides in the conflict to physical fighters, implying that the conflict is an intense one.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to combatant?
- combat (noun, verb)
What are some synonyms for combatant?
What are some words that share a root or word element with combatant?
What are some words that often get used in discussing combatant?
How is combatant used in real life?
Combatant is most commonly used in a military context, but it can be used in many other contexts involving some kind of conflict.
"… motives included a desire to outscore other patrols in the number of enemy combatants killed, to clear at all costs the battlefield of people believed to be insurgents and to initiate new soldiers into a brotherhood of combat." #Afghanistan https://t.co/QIMBx52K4w
— Malachy Browne (@malachybrowne) November 19, 2020
Astonishing that @NYCMayor is on TV right now defending NYPD for treating peaceful protestors like enemy combatants this summer.
“It doesn’t sound right at all to me,” in response to this lawsuit. https://t.co/HKbIVNGWiC
— lauren vega (@lauxvega) October 26, 2020
— NRL (@NRL) June 8, 2015
Try using combatant!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of combatant?
How to use combatant in a sentence
She climbed the few front steps to explain that we were standing at the Blockhouse, a fortress predating the park that was used to fire against enemy combatants during the War of 1812.
After the break, and likely realizing they had to get through the rest of the hour, the two combatants issued mea culpas.Whoopi Goldberg Has Had It With Meghan McCain: ‘I Don’t Care That You Don’t Care!’|Justin Baragona|June 17, 2021|The Daily Beast
It should come as no surprise that women fight alongside men in the ethnic armed organizations, whereas the Myanmar military has no women in its combatant ranks.
Yet the book nonetheless ends with the American combatants looking back on the Pech Valley — and their war — with a little wistfulness.American troops fought hard in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley. But why?|Andrew Exum|March 26, 2021|Washington Post
Each combatant will choose their weapons — be it a dagger, a shield, or a fork and knife — and whoever inflicts the most pain will be declared the winner.On Discord, bots find a foothold as mini indie success stories|Luke Winkie|March 25, 2021|Washington Post
But Broyles is too good here, and admits that women too feel the pull of war by being exposed to it, even as a non-combatant.
It is immaterial if the infidel is a combatant or a civilian.
He was captured by Afghans responding to leaflets distributed by the U.S. promising $5,000 per combatant.A Navy Lawyer Cries Foul on Gitmo’s Kafkaesque Legal System|Eleanor Clift|September 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Of most interest are the English-speaking narrator and a masked American-accented combatant featured in the film.
Both my combatant and I claimed that the other was at fault.Ben Carson Was a Role Model for Black Teens Until He Sold Out to the Right|Joshua DuBois|March 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The boats were then pulled close to one another, and each combatant endeavoured to push his antagonist into the water.A Woman's Journey Round the World|Ida Pfeiffer
In one minute from the signal for retreat the top of the hill did not contain a single painted combatant.Overland|John William De Forest
General Lee simply said the town was non-combatant; that he would not occupy it, nor would he allow any one else to occupy it.Historic Fredericksburg|John T. Goolrick
As a combatant, a warrior, a reformer, his person and character somewhat change.Beacon Lights of History, Volume VI|John Lord
How strange that such an encounter did take place sooner than either white or red combatant dreamed!The Phantom of the River|Edward S. Ellis