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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The city was teeming with war workers, residents with ethnic ties to the combatants (or their victims), and soldiers and sailors who might never see home again. Daniel Akst, WSJ, "‘Victory City’ Review: New World Capital," 4 Jan. 2019 He was likely shot accidentally by Afghan troops who were fighting with him during an assault on al-Qaida combatants, an initial review from a division of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization found. Sgt. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "Funeral services set for Sgt. Leandro Jasso, Washington soldier killed in Afghanistan," 30 Nov. 2018 Lasing attacks appear to be an easy way for enemy combatants to harass and try to distract military pilots, both in planes and helicopters. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, "Laser Beam Attacks Bedevil U.S. Military Pilots in Mideast," 17 Aug. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of combatant

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about combatant

Statistics for combatant

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for combatant

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for combatant



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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on combatant

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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