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

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 Colonel Rol,’’ as he was known to his combatants, had been one of the signatories to the German surrender just before de Gaulle had hit town. Phil Davison,, "Cécile Rol-Tanguy, who helped liberate Paris from the Nazis, dies at 101," 13 May 2020 This, in turn, would affect the kinds of injuries combatants sustained. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Medieval arrows caused injuries similar to gunshot wounds, study finds," 13 May 2020 The new, unnamed ship will fill a hole in the U.S. Navy’s fleet structure for an armed, small surface combatant capable of tackling both low- and high-end missions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Looks To Europe for Its Next-Gen Frigate," 5 May 2020 Whatever the true role of NETs as immunological combatants, the urgency of the pandemic seems to be lifting neutrophils out of obscurity and prompting a close look at their bizarre, protruding webs of DNA. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "‘Spider-Man’ Immune Response May Promote Severe COVID-19," 28 Apr. 2020 Tradition dictated that whenever a national loss or trauma occurred, political combatants would stand down, at least for a time. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "Trump Turns Shared American Experiences Into Us vs. Them," 26 Apr. 2020 By the time they were rescued, Adkins had killed an estimated 175 enemy combatants. David Morgan, CBS News, "Some ... of many: Those we've lost to coronavirus," 26 Apr. 2020 With the sports world in limbo because of the coronavirus pandemic, combatants may have to wait to take aim at the Cowboys receiver on the field. Dallas News, "Rex Ryan apologizes for calling Cowboys WR Amari Cooper a ‘turd’ on ESPN," 3 Apr. 2020 Wars, genocides and social conflicts of the 20th century killed millions of combatants and civilians, while people in small-scale human societies seem to live comparatively peaceful lives. John Hawks, WSJ, "‘The Goodness Paradox’ Review: The Benefits of Good Breeding," 25 Jan. 2019

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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Time Traveler for combatant

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

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Statistics for combatant

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Combatant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for combatant


How to pronounce combatant (audio)

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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