combat

noun
com·​bat | \ ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio) \

Definition of combat

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a fight or contest between individuals or groups
3 : active fighting in a war : action casualties suffered in combat

combat

verb
com·​bat | \ kəm-ˈbat How to pronounce combat (audio) , ˈkäm-ˌba- \
combated or combatted; combating or combatting

Definition of combat (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to engage in combat : fight

transitive verb

1 : to fight with : battle
2 : to struggle against especially : to strive to reduce or eliminate combat pollution

combat

adjective
com·​bat | \ ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio) \

Definition of combat (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : relating to combat combat missions
2 : designed or destined for combat combat boots combat troops

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Choose the Right Synonym for combat

Verb

oppose, combat, resist, withstand mean to set oneself against someone or something. oppose can apply to any conflict, from mere objection to bitter hostility or warfare. opposed the plan combat stresses the forceful or urgent countering of something. combat disease resist implies an overt recognition of a hostile or threatening force and a positive effort to counteract or repel it. resisting temptation withstand suggests a more passive resistance. trying to withstand peer pressure

Examples of combat in a Sentence

Noun Some of these soldiers have never seen combat. He was killed in combat. Verb The drug helps combat infection. She dedicated her life to combating poverty. Exercise can help combat the effects of stress. The mayor pledged to combat crime. They have been combating the rebels for months.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The carrier Valley Forge steamed home from Korean combat yesterday, bringing nearly 3000 officers and men to a tumultuous dockside welcome at North Island. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Valley Forge homecoming 70 years ago was one for the history books," 1 Dec. 2020 The open-air Roman Forum, used for political and legal business as well as gladiatorial combat during the ancient Roman Republic, is one of the most popular tourist sites in the world. oregonlive, "American tourist sends back ancient artifact she stole from Rome, apologizes in note: ‘I feel terrible’," 30 Nov. 2020 For example, the F-22 Raptor fleet would be rated mission capable in a single year if 80 percent of its aircraft were declared ready for air combat. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "America's Military Aircraft Are Barely Ready for War," 24 Nov. 2020 Plus, paleontologists may finally be able figure out how a pair of foes ended up spending eternity interlocked in mortal combat. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Mystery of the ‘Dueling Dinosaurs’ May Finally Be Solved Now That They’ve Found a Home," 19 Nov. 2020 Rex did end up coming back from combat after he was retrained for civilian life. Scott Luxor, sun-sentinel.com, "A grandson honors two WWII vets -- a soldier and his dog Rex -- in new Margate memorial," 19 Nov. 2020 Miller said one of his first calls was to Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who leads the NATO alliance, America’s partner in Afghanistan with some 12,000 troops from 30 nations, who all rely on the U.S. for logistical and combat support. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Trump plan to pullback US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan draws vigorous bipartisan pushback," 18 Nov. 2020 During the Civil War, disease claimed twice as many Union soldiers as combat did. Dave Philipps, chicagotribune.com, "New virus, old enemy," 17 Nov. 2020 During the Civil War, disease claimed twice as many Union soldiers as combat did. Dave Philipps, New York Times, "New Virus, Old Enemy," 16 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tuesday was a record-breaking day for coronavirus devastation in many states, and local leaders are pushing back against the increases with new measures to combat the virus. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Daily coronavirus deaths are at their highest since April and are expected to get worse," 2 Dec. 2020 The Alabama Department of Corrections said in a statement that is has taken multiple steps to combat the virus behind bars. Kim Chandler, Star Tribune, "COVID-19 in custody: Alabama ranks 9th for inmate deaths," 27 Nov. 2020 Amid the increase in cases and moves to combat the virus’ spread, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators are being criticized for not following their own advice. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: Another stay-at-home order ahead?," 18 Nov. 2020 As cases and deaths rose, Republican lawmakers wasted the summer and early fall doing nothing to combat the virus, and instead, made a political issue out of fighting a governor who has tried to keep people safe. Editorial Board, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Editorial: Wisconsin is being swamped by the coronavirus pandemic. Republican leaders do nothing.," 17 Nov. 2020 The state of Maryland and several of its largest jurisdictions this week enacted a round of restrictions to combat the virus’s spread. Washington Post, "Maryland’s coronavirus caseload hits record; ‘Weeks and months ahead will be the most difficult,’ Hogan warns," 13 Nov. 2020 The first area in the country, which was hit the hardest, was New York City, and to combat the virus, the mayor and governor took extraordinary steps to control the first wave of the virus. Richard Mason, Arkansas Online, "No end in sight for hunkerin' down," 8 Nov. 2020 In short, Biden would offer national guidelines to combat the virus, something that many experts say has been missing since the pandemic began. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "What Biden’s win changes for Americans, China, and the environment," 7 Nov. 2020 Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said leaders from the region speak biweekly about the virus and discuss data trends and efforts needed to combat the virus. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, "New coronavirus infections are increasing across Central Florida, tied to ‘relaxation’ of precautions, health official says," 6 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Women, meanwhile, were only allowed to take command positions in non-combat roles in the 1970s. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "A New Museum Delves Into the Complex History of the U.S. Army," 13 Nov. 2020 Corey Staten was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal -- the highest honor for non-combat bravery -- in a ceremony last week in Baltimore. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Marine who drowned saving another Marine honored for heroism," 31 Oct. 2020 Skarlatos was awarded the nation’s highest honor for non-combat action and played himself in a Clint Eastwood movie about the event. Daniel Flatley, Bloomberg.com, "A Few Long-Serving House Democrats Face Surprise Election Fights," 29 Oct. 2020 Heavy casualties among African Americans, particularly early in the Vietnam War, and the prospect of better post-military employment options made non-combat units such as logistics a preferred choice. USA Today, "Where are the Black officers? US Army shows diversity in its ranks but few promotions to the top," 1 Sep. 2020 The WASPs were the first-ever female U.S. military pilots and flew non-combat missions during the war. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "There Are Still No U.S. Airports Named After Women of Color," 27 Aug. 2020 The Military Sealift Command is a navy within a navy, a fleet of unmanned, non-combat ships staffed by civilians. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This U.S. Navy Ship Was Actually Built by the Soviet Union," 3 July 2020 Her goal for the military includes having the Pentagon achieve net zero-carbon emissions for all non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Where the 2020 candidates stand on climate change," 4 Sep. 2019 Combat summer heat and humidity with beauty products that put the emphasis on natural and organic ingredients. Christy Lorio, NOLA.com, "5 all-natural, skin refreshing beauty products," 2 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'combat.' 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 combat

Noun

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Adjective

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for combat

Noun

Anglo-French, from combatre to attack, fight, from Vulgar Latin *combattere, from Latin com- + battuere to beat

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Learn More about combat

Time Traveler for combat

Time Traveler

The first known use of combat was in 1546

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Statistics for combat

Last Updated

4 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Combat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/combat. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for combat

combat

noun
How to pronounce combat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of combat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: active fighting especially in a war

combat

verb
How to pronounce combat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of combat (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try to stop (something) from happening or getting worse
formal : to fight against (someone) : to engage in combat against (an enemy)

combat

noun
com·​bat | \ ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio) \

Kids Definition of combat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fight or contest between individuals or groups
2 : active military fighting Five soldiers were wounded in combat.

combat

verb
com·​bat | \ kəm-ˈbat How to pronounce combat (audio) , ˈkäm-ˌbat \
combated or combatted; combating or combatting

Kids Definition of combat (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fight with : fight against : oppose combat disease

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Comments on combat

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