[non-kuh m-bat-nt, non-kom-buh-tnt]
  1. a person connected with a military force in some capacity other than that of a fighter, as a surgeon or chaplain.
  2. a person who is not directly involved in combat; a civilian in wartime.
  1. not constituting, designed for, or engaged in combat.

Origin of noncombatant

First recorded in 1805–15; non- + combatant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for non-combatant

Contemporary Examples of non-combatant

Historical Examples of non-combatant

  • Anything that is calmly facing them becomes at once a non-combatant.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • Hellenic war ethics: non-combatant tillers of the soil to be let alone.



  • It was useless for his attendant friends to assert that he had been a non-combatant.

    Robert Louis Stevenson

    Margaret Moyes Black

  • Did the Imperial and Royal authorities regard him as a non-combatant?

  • The doctor was to go, as a matter of course, but he was to be a non-combatant.

    Under the Meteor Flag

    Harry Collingwood

British Dictionary definitions for non-combatant


  1. a civilian in time of war
  2. a member of the armed forces whose duties do not include fighting, such as a chaplain or surgeon
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 non-combatant

also noncombatant, 1809, from non- + combatant. A word from the Napoleonic wars.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper