AskDefine | Define combat

Dictionary Definition



1 an engagement fought between two military forces [syn: armed combat]
2 the act of fighting; any contest or struggle; "a fight broke out at the hockey game"; "there was fighting in the streets"; "the unhappy couple got into a terrible scrap" [syn: fight, fighting, scrap] v : battle or contend against in or as if in a battle; "The Kurds are combating Iraqi troops in Nothern Iraq"; "We must combat the prejudices against other races"; "they battled over the budget" [syn: battle] [also: combatting, combatted]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • noun
rfap verb


  1. A battle, a fight (often one in which weapons are used); a struggle for victory.


a battle; a fight; a struggle for victory
  • Finnish: taistelu, kamppailu
  • Japanese 戦闘, せんとう (sentō)
  • Korean 싸움; 전투
  • Kurdish: کارزان
  • Old English: guþal
  • Polish: walka
  • Swedish: kamp
  • Welsh: brwydr


  1. To fight; to struggle for victory


to fight; to struggle for victory
  • Finnish: taistella, kamppailla
  • French: combattre
  • Greek: πολεμώ (polemó), καταπολεμώ (katapolemó)
  • Polish: zwalczać
  • Welsh: brwydro



Extensive Definition

Combat, or fighting, is purposeful violent conflict intended to establish dominance over the opposition.
The term "combat" (French for fight) typically refers to armed conflict between military forces in warfare, whereas the more general term "fighting" can refer to any violent conflict, including boxing and wrestling matches, or street fighting. Combat violence can be unilateral, whereas fighting implies at least a defensive reaction. However, the terms are often used synonymously.
Combat may take place under a certain set of rules or be unregulated. Examples of rules include the Geneva Conventions (covering the treatment of soldiers in war), medieval Chivalry, and the Marquess of Queensberry rules (covering boxing).
Combat in warfare involves two or more opposing military organizations, usually fighting for nations at war (although guerrilla warfare and suppression of insurgencies can fall outside this definition). Warfare falls under the laws of war, which govern its purposes and conduct, and protect the rights of soldiers and non-combatants.
Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (not using weapons). Hand-to-hand combat (mêlée) is combat at very close range, feeling the opponent with the body (striking, kicking, strangling, etc.) and/or with a mêlée weapon (knives, swords, batons, etc.), as opposed to firing.
Hand-to-hand combat can be further divided into three sections depending on the distance and positioning of the combatants:
combat in German: Gefecht
combat in French: Combat
combat in Portuguese: Combate
combat in Romanian: Luptă
combat in Slovak: Boj
combat in Serbian: Борба
combat in Swedish: Slagsmål
combat in Ukrainian: Бій

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Kilkenny cats, action, aerial combat, affray, all-out war, altercation, antagonize, appeal to arms, argument, armed combat, armed conflict, armored combat, attack, battle, battle royal, beat against, beat up against, belligerence, belligerency, bickering, bloodshed, box, brawl, breast the wave, broil, brush, buck, buffet, buffet the waves, bullfight, cat-and-dog life, clash, clash of arms, close, close with, cockfight, collide, come to blows, compete with, conflict, confrontation, contend, contend against, contention, contentiousness, contest, contestation, controversy, cut and thrust, debate, defy, difference, disagreement, disputation, dispute, do battle, dogfight, duel, embroilment, encounter, engagement, enmity, exchange blows, exchange of blows, fence, feud, fight, fight a duel, fight against, fighting, fire fight, fray, give and take, give satisfaction, grapple, grapple with, ground combat, hand-to-hand combat, hand-to-hand fight, hostilities, hostility, hot war, house-to-house combat, join battle with, jostle, joust, la guerre, labor against, litigation, logomachy, might of arms, military operations, militate against, mix it up, naval combat, offer resistance, open hostilities, open war, oppose, opposition, paper war, passage of arms, pitched battle, polemic, quarrel, quarreling, quarrelsomeness, rassle, reluct, reluctate, repel, resort to arms, riot, rival, rumble, run a tilt, running fight, scramble, scrapping, scrimmage, scuffle, shooting war, shoving match, skirmish, spar, squabbling, stand-up fight, state of war, stem the tide, street fight, strife, strive, strive against, struggle, struggle against, take on, tauromachy, the sword, thrust and parry, tilt, total war, tourney, traverse, tug-of-war, tussle, vendetta, vie with, wage war, war, war of words, warfare, warmaking, warring, wartime, withstand, words, wrangling, wrestle
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