battle

noun, often attributive
bat·​tle | \ ˈba-tᵊl How to pronounce battle (audio) \

Definition of battle

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 archaic : battalion
2 : a combat between two persons
3 : a general encounter between armies, ships of war, or aircraft the battle of Normandy soldiers who fell in battle
4 : an extended contest, struggle, or controversy a battle of wits
5 : a struggle to succeed or survive her battle with cancer … I came home and faced an uphill battle to gain support for the treaty in the U.S. Senate.— Al Gore
do battle
: to engage in a fight or struggle … used to do battle with the fearless radicals of the Socialist Workers Party …— Salman Rushdie
half the battle
: an important and necessary part of doing or achieving something I think you will prosper, for the sincere wish to be good is half the battle.— Louisa May Alcott In the positioning war, half the battle is picking the right enemy.— Ted Morgan often used with words like only and just to stress that something is not enough by itself to achieve a desired goal Selecting which partners and investors to woo is only half the battle. Knowing how to pitch them is equally important.— Michelle Goodman
in the heat of (the) battle
: while fighting a battle soldiers in the heat of battle : during the stress of a struggle, argument, or confrontation That's how we fight our battles in boxing … In the heat of battle we all say crazy things we are not accountable for.—Bob Arum

battle

verb (1)
battled; battling\ ˈbat-​liŋ How to pronounce battling (audio) , ˈba-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of battle (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in combat between individuals or armed forces : to engage in battle : fight battling for control of the bridge
2 : to contend with full strength, vigor, skill, or resources : struggle They battled to keep their son out of jail. battling over how to spend the money

transitive verb

1 : to fight or struggle against battling cancer two teams set to battle each other for the championship battling it out in the courtroom
2 : to force, thrust, or drive by battling battling his way through the crowd
battle it out
: to engage in a prolonged fight, argument, or struggle The two sides battled it out in court. … predicting that she and her 15-year-old sister, Serena, would soon be battling it out for No. 1.— S. L. Price

battle

verb (2)
battled; battling

Definition of battle (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

archaic
: to fortify with battlements … beneath the battled tower.— Alfred Tennyson

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Other Words from battle

Verb (1)

battler \ ˈbat-​lər How to pronounce battler (audio) , ˈba-​tᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for battle

Synonyms: Noun

fight, fray, scrabble, struggle, throes

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Examples of battle in a Sentence

Noun

That two-day conflict has become one of the most famous battles in history. The battle continued late into the night. Thousands of soldiers were willing to go into battle to fight the enemy. A police officer was injured in a gun battle that took place last night. The company was involved in a legal battle with one of its employees. the never-ending battle between good and evil
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The technology figured prominently in Apple’s surprise decision to settle its long-running legal battle with Qualcomm last month. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "5G Is Still a Tough Call," 7 May 2019 Hutton, who was only 17, was the first recruit to join the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary group known for its battles with police and for its community programs, including a free breakfast program. Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue, "How April 1968 Changed the United States Forever," 19 Apr. 2019 Her Twitter battle with Trump unfolded in September 2017. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "Jemele Hill still speaking her mind, this time on podcast," 15 Apr. 2019 Wendy Williams opened up on Tuesday's show about her past addiction battle with cocaine and revealed she's been living in a sober house. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Tamron Hall and Others Rally Around Wendy Williams After She Announces She's Living in a Sober House," 19 Mar. 2019 The country community is reeling after the passing of Earl Thomas Conley, who died on Wednesday morning following a battle with a condition similar to dementia. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Blake Shelton Gives Emotional Tribute to 'Hero' Earl Thomas Conley, Who Died at 77," 11 Apr. 2019 One that would include, for Chris, digging deep into Toby Damon's past and coming face-to-face with his character's life-long battle with depression. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Chris Sullivan Reveals How Toby’s Depression Took a Toll on Him," 19 Mar. 2019 This week Activision announced the Black Ops 4 Battle Edition, which costs $30 and includes standard Call of Duty multiplayer as well as the Blackout battle royale mode—but no Zombies. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Call of Duty starts selling sans-Zombies, DayZ preps Early Access exit," 7 Dec. 2018 An attack on a castle or fortress involved a short, but furious battle, with soldiers attacking holes in the walls with picks and hammers and rushing through as soon as the openings were large enough to squeeze through. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "How to Storm a Castle," 11 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The teams battled through a scoreless first period before the Avalanche broke through for a score while on the power play at 13:37 of the second. Dennis Georgatos, The Seattle Times, "MacKinnon’s shootout goal lifts Avs past Coyotes 3-2," 29 Mar. 2019 WellChild is a charity that supports children and young people battling serious illnesses, and Prince Harry has been a patron of the organization since 2007. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a Chic Altuzarra Suit to the WellChild Awards with Prince Harry," 4 Sep. 2018 Rain helped calm a fire in the heart of ski country that has destroyed three houses, including the home of a volunteer firefighter battling the flames near the resort town of Aspen. NBC News, "Weather grants some relief as wildfires burn in West amid heatwave," 7 July 2018 In an effort to protect babies born to mothers battling addiction, the Pennsylvania legislature just passed a bill that will dramatically change the rules for newborns leaving the hospital. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "City turns out for ICE protests, how to steal a house in Philly | Morning Newsletter," 2 July 2018 In the acclaimed original, Emily Blunt plays a federal agent recruited to join a unit battling the drug war at the border, with a boss (Josh Brolin) fond of bending the rules and a lawman from Mexico (Benicio Del Toro) who sets those rules. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Sicario: Day of the Soldado'," 28 June 2018 Former WWE star from Louisville dies Former WWE superstar and Louisville native Matt Cappotelli died Friday after battling brain cancer twice in the last decade. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Swifties, statues and WWE: What you missed in Louisville this weekend," 2 July 2018 Robert Moir died June 1 in Ottawa at age 81 after battling cancer. Bob Narang, chicagotribune.com, "After her grandfather's death, Brooke Henderson brings major mindset to Kemper Lakes," 29 June 2018 Bryce Derosier, the son of Taunton police officer Jeremy Derosier and his wife Jamie, died after battling mitochondrial disease, police Chief Edward Walsh said in a statement. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, "Taunton police mourn death of officer’s 15-month-old son," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'battle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of battle

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for battle

Noun

Middle English batel, from Anglo-French bataille battle, battalion, from Late Latin battalia combat, alteration of battualia fencing exercises, from Latin battuere to beat

Verb (1)

Middle English bataillen, borrowed from Anglo-French batailler, verbal derivative of bataille battle entry 1

Verb (2)

Middle English batailen, from Anglo-French bataillier to fortify with battlements, from Old French batailles battlemented tower, probably from plural of bataille battle

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Statistics for battle

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for battle

The first known use of battle was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for battle

battle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of battle

: a military fight between groups of soldiers, ships, airplanes, etc.
: a violent fight in which people use weapons
: a fight between people or groups in which each side tries to win a contest (such as a game or an election) or to gain control of something (such as a company)

battle

noun
bat·​tle | \ ˈba-tᵊl How to pronounce battle (audio) \

Kids Definition of battle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fight between armies, warships, or airplanes
2 : a fight between two persons or animals
3 : a long or hard struggle or contest the battle against hunger

battle

verb
battled; battling

Kids Definition of battle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to engage in fighting
2 : to try to stop or defeat battling a forest fire

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More from Merriam-Webster on battle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with battle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for battle

Spanish Central: Translation of battle

Nglish: Translation of battle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of battle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about battle

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