[ fahyt ]
/ faɪt /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: fight / fighting / fought on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), fought, fight·ing.
to engage in battle or in single combat; attempt to defend oneself against or to subdue, defeat, or destroy an adversary.
to contend in any manner; strive vigorously for or against something: He fought bravely against despair.
verb (used with object), fought, fight·ing.
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…

Idioms about fight

Origin of fight

before 900; (v.) Middle English fi(g)hten,Old English fe(o)htan (cognate with German fechten); (noun) Middle English fi(g)ht,Old English feohte, (ge)feoht, derivative of the v. base

synonym study for fight

1, 2. Fight, combat, conflict, contest denote a struggle of some kind. Fight connotes a hand-to-hand struggle for supremacy, literally or in a figurative sense. Combat suggests an armed encounter, as in war. Conflict implies a bodily, mental, or moral struggle caused by opposing views, beliefs, etc. Contest applies to either a friendly or a hostile struggle for a definite prize or aim.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of fight?

A fight is a battle, contest, struggle, argument, or any clash that involves at least two opposing sides. Fight is also to engage in combat or to struggle with something. Fight has several other senses as a noun and a verb.

The most common type of fight is a physical struggle between two or more people (and/or animals) that involves violence. If two men are punching and kicking each other, they are in a fight or having a fight. Fight is also used more generally to refer to any struggle, argument, or contest in which two or more sides are battling against each other, literally or figuratively.

  • Real-life examples: Rowdy soccer fans sometimes have fights. Couples and families sometimes have fights, meaning arguments, when they disagree with each other. A person who is in a fight with cancer is trying to beat it by surviving the disease.
  • Used in a sentence: Luanne is still sulking after our fight over who the best James Bond is.

As a verb, fight means to engage in a battle or physical combat. This sense can also refer to wars between countries. The past tense of fight is fought. A person who is involved in a fight is called a fighter.

  • Real-life examples: People who hate each other often want to fight and harm each other. Two dogs that both want the same territory will fight and try to bite each other. The United States fought Spain during the Spanish American War.
  • Used in a sentence: The man was punched in the face as he tried to fight his hated enemy. 

Fight is used also figuratively to mean to struggle against anything.

  • Real-life examples: Farmers often fight insects and bad weather. The police fight crime. People fight boredom by watching television or spending time with friends.
  • Used in a sentence: The government tried to fight poverty by lowering taxes and providing more welfare programs.

Where does fight come from?

The first records of fight come from before the 900s. It ultimately comes from the Old English word fe(o)htan. It is related to the German fechten.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to fight?

  • fighter (noun)
  • fighting (noun, adjective)
  • fightable (adjective)
  • fightability (noun)
  • outfight (verb)

What are some synonyms for fight?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fight

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

How is fight used in real life?

Fight is a very common word that often refers to battles, both real and figurative.

Try using fight!

Is fight used correctly in the following sentence?

Both men looked ready for a fight, preparing to hurt each other as much as possible.

How to use fight in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fight

/ (faɪt) /

verb fights, fighting or fought

Derived forms of fight

fighting, noun, adjective

Word Origin for fight

Old English feohtan; related to Old Frisian fiuchta, Old Saxon, Old High German fehtan to fight
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with fight


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.