com·​bat·​ant | \ kəm-ˈba-tᵊnt also ˈkäm-bə-tənt How to pronounce combatant (audio) \

Definition of combatant

: one that is engaged in or ready to engage in combat

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Other Words from combatant

combatant adjective

Examples of combatant in a Sentence

Britain was a main combatant in World War II.

Recent Examples on the Web

Such an operation would take place after separating or evacuating civilians from the militants, estimated to be about 300 combatants, said Mustafa Bali, the spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Pressure builds to get civilians out of last IS-held enclave," 20 Feb. 2019 Just as combatants and POWs are accorded certain rights in wartime, government officials and others who participate in politics deserve privacy and respect, no matter how intense the culture wars become. Orrin G. Hatch, WSJ, "Geneva Conventions for the Culture War," 27 July 2018 Depending on who wins, analysts say, the vote could presage the end of the accord, which is already on shaky ground amid assassinations of former combatants and allegations of noncompliance by both sides. Chris Kraul,, "Colombia's presidential election could signal end of peace pact with former FARC rebels, analysts say," 26 May 2018 The Syrian was detained as an enemy combatant with suspected ties to militants and was held for 12 years at Guantanamo, but he was never charged. Leonardo Haberkorn, The Seattle Times, "Ex-Guantanamo detainee leaves Uruguay, heads to Turkey," 24 July 2018 Layka tracked down an enemy combatant inside a building and was shot four times. Grant Suneson And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "The 25 most heroic dogs in America," 5 July 2018 The military declared him an enemy combatant and put him in a military prison in Iraq. David S. Cloud,, "Pentagon wants to release in Syria a U.S. citizen it accused of joining Islamic State; his lawyers call that a 'death warrant'," 7 June 2018 He was captured by a militia in Syria in September and turned over to the American military, which has been holding him at a base in Iraq as an enemy combatant for nearly nine months. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "American ISIS Suspect Fights Plan to Release Him in Syria," 7 June 2018 An American citizen imprisoned for seven months without charges by the U.S. military as an enemy combatant will be transferred from Iraq to another country, the government has told a court, giving his lawyers three days to challenge the move. Washington Post, "U.S. says it will send American ISIS suspect held 7 months in Iraq to another country," 17 Apr. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for combatant

The first known use of combatant was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of combatant

: a person, group, or country that fights in a war or battle


com·​bat·​ant | \ kəm-ˈba-tᵊnt How to pronounce combatant (audio) , ˈkäm-bə-tənt\

Kids Definition of combatant

: a person who takes part in a combat

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