combat

noun
com·​bat | \ ˈkäm-ˌbat \

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, 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 \

Definition of combat (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Still, there’s no doubt that the industry as a whole is heading to electrification, a good thing as the world lessens its dependence on cars and looks to combat climate change. Megan Barber, Curbed, "World’s first fully electric RV will debut in 2019," 14 Dec. 2018 Incineroar's up-close combat prowess comes with a caveat of odd air maneuverability, in that its up-B recovery move will actually dive downward. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Smash Bros. Ultimate review: The best fighting game on any Nintendo system," 6 Dec. 2018 The announcement provided no details, and Votel declined to say anything beyond calling it a combat loss. Robert Burns, Fox News, "American general says Afghan battlefield losses are rising," 4 Oct. 2018 Later, when President Lyndon B. Johnson asked U.K. Prime Minister Harold Wilson to send combat troops to Vietnam in the mid-’60s, Wilson refused. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The 'Special Relationship' Between the U.S. and U.K. Is Unlike Any Other Alliance. Here's How It Got That Way," 13 July 2018 Robertson's prose bookending conversations and introducing the combat sections is poetic and powerful, with a hint of the Mountain Goats, reaching that point of being sentimental without being treacly, tender without being purple. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Extreme Meatpunks Forever," 11 July 2018 Rather than a chaotic whirlwind of combat, four-player games actually feel more staid and conservative. Owen Duffy, Ars Technica, "Wildlands may be the slickest, simplest fantasy skirmish game ever made," 1 Dec. 2018 These existed in Black Ops 3, but Treyarch is leaning harder into them here, adding new specialists and letting a lot of the late-match combat revolve around strategic ability use. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Black Ops 4 merges Fortnite and PUBG into the best Call of Duty in years," 19 Oct. 2018 Admiral Jackson has been on the front lines of deadly combat and saved the lives of many others in service to this country. Time, "President Trump's Pick to Lead the VA Hit With Claims of Inappropriate Behavior and Over-Prescription of Drugs," 24 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More resources are needed to adjudicate asylum claims more rapidly, to secure people with pending claims in sustainable and humane ways, and to assist Central American countries in combating the underlying issues that drive people north. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The shutdown is intractable because Trump’s wall is ridiculous and Republicans know it," 8 Jan. 2019 Services like Apple Pay and Google Pay try to combat online card theft by using tokenization to obscure a person's card numbers from theft while online. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Pilot project demos credit cards with shifting CVV codes to stop fraud," 28 Dec. 2018 Though moisturizer is a year-round beauty staple, amping up your hydration game in the winter is a crucial step in combatting dry skin. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Best Moisturizers for Winter," 13 Nov. 2018 To try to combat confusion, SMOTJ has a legal officer called the Grand Avocat who works on registering trademarks to guard its brand identity. Kristina Krug, Smithsonian, "Meet the Americans Following in the Footsteps of the Knights Templar," 28 June 2018 But his ability to right the ship has been most impressive, using maturity on the mound to combat some of the regression. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers three observations: Ron Gardenhire won't sweat critics," 21 June 2018 Religious and cultural groups across the Valley are trying to combat that in some unique ways. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Phoenix religious groups woo Millennials with beer, art and social events," 16 June 2018 The Verge All this is unpleasant to read, but as a result of these controversies companies have begun constructing tools to combat problems of bias, and big tech firm like Microsoft are now openly calling for regulation of facial recognition. James Vincent, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: AI," 30 Dec. 2018 The best way to combat gas related to a food sensitivity is to pay attention, possibly with the guidance of a medical professional. Amy Marturana, SELF, "7 Common Causes of Excessive Gas," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about combat

Statistics for combat

Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for combat

The first known use of combat was in 1546

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for combat

combat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of combat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: active fighting especially in a war

combat

verb

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

: to try to stop (something) from happening or getting worse

: to fight against (someone) : to engage in combat against (an enemy)

combat

noun
com·​bat | \ ˈkäm-ˌbat \

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, ˈkäm-ˌbat\
combated or combatted; combating or combatting

Kids Definition of combat (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fight with : fight against : oppose combat disease

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on combat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with combat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for combat

Spanish Central: Translation of combat

Nglish: Translation of combat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of combat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on combat

What made you want to look up combat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to settle judicially or to act as judge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!