[ verb kuhm-bat, kom-bat, kuhm-; noun kom-bat, kuhm- ]
See synonyms for: combatcombatedcombating on

verb (used with object),com·bat·ed, com·bat·ing or (especially British) com·bat·ted, com·bat·ting.
  1. to fight or contend against; oppose vigorously: to combat crime.

verb (used without object),com·bat·ed, com·bat·ing or (especially British) com·bat·ted, com·bat·ting.
  1. to battle; contend: to combat with disease.

  1. Military. active, armed fighting with enemy forces.

  2. a fight, struggle, or controversy, as between two persons, teams, or ideas.

Origin of combat

First recorded in 1535–45; from Middle French combat (noun), combattre (verb), from Late Latin combattere, from Latin com- com- + Late Latin battere, from Latin battuere “to strike, beat”

synonym study For combat

3. See fight

Other words for combat

Other words from combat

  • com·bat·a·ble, adjective
  • in·ter·com·bat, noun
  • pre·com·bat, noun, verb, pre·com·bat·ed, pre·com·bat·ing or (especially British) pre·com·bat·ted, pre·com·bat·ting.
  • self-com·bat·ing, adjective
  • un·com·bat·a·ble, adjective
  • un·com·bat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use combat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for combat


noun(ˈkɒmbæt, -bət, ˈkʌm-)
  1. a fight, conflict, or struggle

    • an action fought between two military forces

    • (as modifier): a combat jacket

  1. single combat a fight between two individuals; duel

  2. close combat or hand-to-hand combat fighting at close quarters

verb(kəmˈbæt, ˈkɒmbæt, ˈkʌm-) -bats, -bating or -bated
  1. (tr) to fight or defy

  2. (intr; often foll by with or against) to struggle or strive (against); be in conflict (with): to combat against disease

Origin of combat

C16: from French, from Old French combattre, from Vulgar Latin combattere (unattested), from Latin com- with + battuere to beat, hit

Derived forms of combat

  • combatable, adjective
  • combater, noun

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