verb (used without object), fought, fight·ing.
verb (used with object), fought, fight·ing.
- fight back,
- fight fire with fire,
- fight it out,
- fight off,
- fight or flight reaction
Origin of fight
verb fights, fighting or fought
- to box, as for a living
- to use aggressive rough tactics
Word Origin for fight
Old English feohte, gefeoht "a fight;" see fight (v.). Cf. Old Frisian fiucht, Old Saxon fehta, Dutch gevecht, Old High German gifeht, German Gefecht.
Old English feohtan "to fight" (class III strong verb; past tense feaht, past participle fohten), from Proto-Germanic *fekhtanan (cf. Old High German fehtan, German fechten, Middle Dutch and Dutch vechten, Old Frisian fiuhta "to fight"), from PIE *pek- "to pluck out" (wool or hair), apparently with a notion of "pulling roughly" (cf. Greek pekein "to comb, shear," pekos "fleece, wool;" Persian pashm "wool, down," Latin pectere "to comb," Sanskrit paksman- "eyebrows, hair").
Spelling substitution of -gh- for a "hard H" sound was a Middle English scribal habit, especially before -t-. In some late Old English examples, the middle consonant was represented by a yogh. To fight back "resist" is recorded from 1890.
In addition to the idioms beginning with fight
- fight fire with fire
- fighting chance
- fighting words
- fight it out
- fight off
- fight shy of
- fight tooth and nail
- can't fight city hall