[ fahy-ter ]
/ ˈfaɪ tər /


a boxer; pugilist.
Military. an aircraft designed to seek out and destroy enemy aircraft in the air and to protect bomber aircraft.
a person who fights, struggles, resists, etc.
a person with the will, courage, determination, ability, or disposition to fight, struggle, resist, etc.
an animal, as a dog, trained to fight or having the disposition to fight.

Nearby words

  1. fight shy of,
  2. fight tooth and nail,
  3. fight-or-flight,
  4. fight-or-flight reaction,
  5. fight-or-flight response,
  6. fighter-bomber,
  7. fighter-interceptor,
  8. fighting,
  9. fighting chair,
  10. fighting chance

Origin of fighter

before 1000; Middle English; Old English fēohtere. See fight, -er1

Related formsnon·fight·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fighter

British Dictionary definitions for fighter


/ (ˈfaɪtə) /


a person who fights, esp a professional boxer
a person who has determination
military an armed aircraft designed for destroying other aircraft
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

Word Origin and History for fighter



Old English feohtere; agent noun from fight (v.). Cf. German Fechter. Meaning "fast military airplane used for combat" is from 1917.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper