: a combat between two persons
: a general encounter between armies, ships of war, or aircraft
- soldiers who fell in battle
: an extended contest, struggle, or controversy
: a struggle to succeed or survive
- … I came home and faced an uphill battle to gain support for the treaty in the U.S. Senate.
- —Al Gore
: 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
—often used with words like only and just to stress that something is not enough by itself to achieve a desired goal
- In the positioning war, half the battle is picking the right enemy.
- —Ted Morgan
- 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
: during the stress of a struggle, argument, or confrontation
- soldiers in the heat of battle
- 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