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

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

The successful use of GPS by the U.S. military in combat operations however has made interference a top priority for many countries, particularly those like Russia and North Korea that could face the U.S. on the battlefield. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Report: Russia Engaging in Widespread Satellite Navigation Spoofing," 3 Apr. 2019 The Trump administration requested $45 billion for combat operations in the country this fiscal year and $5.2 billion in aid for the Afghan security forces. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Pentagon Chief Assures Afghanistan of U.S. Support," 11 Feb. 2019 During his 34-year military career, Handy participated in several combat operations including the Gulf War and Iraq War. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio aviation director talks travel ban, airport construction and flying the F-22," 9 July 2018 He was killed on Oct. 14, 2007 when a road side bomb exploded near his vehicle during combat operations, the Globe reported at the time. Laney Ruckstuhl, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Every day for these families is Memorial Day’," 26 May 2018 The number of casualties dropped as the U.S. and its allies wound down combat operations that once involved over 120,000 troops in all. Washington Post, "Memorial recalls the dead, but few at NATO know their names," 25 May 2018 The military uses androids for combat operations, and space agencies use them for exploration. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Detroit: Become Human review: Robotic in all of the wrong ways," 24 May 2018 The first American service member killed supporting combat operations in Syria, Spears was lost at sea after part of his Osprey pitched into the North Arabian Gulf during takeoff. Carl Prine, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Back in San Diego, Wingman Foundation aids families of killed crews," 2 May 2018 At 17, Nail joined the U.S. Navy and served during combat operations in the Middle East. Bob Warren, NOLA.com, "'I was just in so much pain': St. Tammany deputy discusses shooting, recovery," 30 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The King Amendment was designed to combat a recent trend: voters in states like Massachusetts and California have started prohibiting certain cruel practices, not just on farms in those states but any farms that want to sell their products there. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Dog and cat meat is now, finally, illegal," 18 Dec. 2018 On top of that, with today’s elite backs doubling as dangerous pass-catchers, PPR is exacerbating the problem it was designed to combat. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Fantasy Football Players Who are More Valuable in PPR Leagues," 12 July 2018 The administration is using protocols described in a 2008 law designed to combat child trafficking that gave special protections to Central American children at the border. Jill Colvin, chicagotribune.com, "Trump refers to some who cross border illegally as 'animals'," 17 May 2018 The administration is using protocols described in a 2008 law designed to combat child trafficking that gave special protections to Central American children at the border. NBC News, "Trump draws rebuke for 'animal' remark at immigration talk," 17 May 2018 The administration is using protocols described in a 2008 law designed to combat child trafficking that gave special protections to Central American children at the border. J. Harry Jones, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Trump rails against sanctuary city policies; Abed, Gaspar weigh in," 16 May 2018 Farmwave is a new app that incorporates artificial intelligence to help farmers detect pathogens and pests and recommends ways to combat them and reduce their spread, thus saving crops. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "An App Could Be the Key to Saving Crops from Pests and Pathogens," 4 Dec. 2018 But in Jennifer Lopez's world, a workout is such a natural occurrence, that a to-the-streets translation takes direct notes from the cardio session rather than combating it. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez's Weekend Beauty Look Took Its Cues From the Gym," 6 Aug. 2018 So what’s the deal with Mercury retrograde, anyway, and what are the best ways to combat (or at least survive) it? Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Your 2018 Guide to Surviving Mercury Retrograde," 26 July 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

17 Apr 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
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

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

not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!