battle

noun, often attributive
bat·tle | \ ˈba-tᵊl \

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, 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, ˈba-tᵊl-ər \ noun

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

There aren’t many bright spots in the looming battle against C. auris. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018 The sense here is that Haynes will win the position battle mentioned above. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Is a Panthers defensive line with 3 Pro Bowlers and Julius Peppers underappreciated?," 12 July 2018 Djokovic’s toughest match comes on Friday: A battle against Nadal for the 52nd time in their careers. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "Kevin Anderson Upsets Roger Federer at Wimbledon," 11 July 2018 Lamont faces a Democratic primary battle against Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, who failed to win the party endorsement but petitioned his way onto the ballot. Matthew Kauffman, courant.com, "Campaign Finance Reports Reveal A Battle Of Millionaires In Gubernatorial Race," 11 July 2018 Loaded with grape and citrus antioxidants and powerful skin-soothers, this serum proved to be a real ally in my quest for a J-beauty complexion and battle against redness. Rebecca Norris, Allure, "I Tried a Japanese Skin-Care Routine for a Month, and These Are the Results," 9 July 2018 Meanwhile, Joanna decided that the best course of action was to lose the battle in order to win the war. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 Changes in media, the rise of a propaganda operation, best invited by Fox News, the radicalization of the right wing, and I ... we ... the battle against the birther conspiracy and fake news. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer on Recode Media," 2 July 2018 French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Nouakchott Monday to discuss the battle against Islamic extremism and ways to finance counterterrorism and peacekeeping operations. Ahmed Mohamed, The Seattle Times, "African leaders talk security with French president," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For example, Casanova and others have found more than a dozen mutations that disrupt the body's ability to battle non-TB mycobacteria, and all of them mess with interferon gamma—a key immune system activator. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "Extreme Flu? Weird Encephalitis? It May Be Your Genes," 13 July 2018 Bats eat a lot of insects, which means farmers might have to battle uneaten bugs with more pesticides or risk losing more crops. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, "A mysterious disease is killing millions of bats. These scientists are trying to save them.," 12 July 2018 Earlier this year, President Trump announced new plans to battle the country's growing opioid epidemic. Terace Garnier, Fox News, "NC town battles opioid epidemic by using robots to test people’s poop," 12 July 2018 To battle the summer-style blahs, Mr. Barket endorses tucking a button-up shirt into the shorts to spotlight those striking pleats. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "This Summer, Dress Like Hemingway on His Boat," 10 July 2018 About 100 firefighters continued to battle the blaze that was burning mostly in sage brush Tuesday. Scott Sonner, The Seattle Times, "Crews gaining on huge Nevada wildfire visible from space," 10 July 2018 Meanwhile, firefighters in San Bernardino County continue to battle the 1,341-acre Valley fire, which forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in the Forest Falls community. Andrea Castillo, latimes.com, "'I have happy tears,' Goleta resident says after finding his home survived destructive wildfire," 9 July 2018 Its supporters see the nonprofit as an alternative to customary criminal justice interventions at a time when the city continues to battle high levels of crime. Yvonne Wenger, baltimoresun.com, "Nonprofit Roca begins relentless pursuit of Baltimore's most dangerous young men — to change them," 4 July 2018 Taylor Williams, who needed to battle his way out of a tight spot in the sixth, allowed a leadoff single to open the Reds' seventh. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Reds 12, Brewers 3: Tight affair turns into laugher in seventh inning," 30 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

19 Sep 2018

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 \

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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Comments on battle

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