com·​bat·​ive | \ kəm-ˈba-tiv How to pronounce combative (audio) \

Definition of combative

: marked by eagerness to fight or contend

Other Words from combative

combatively adverb
combativeness noun

Examples of combative in a Sentence

When the police tried to arrest him, he became combative. channeling his naturally combative impulses into sports
Recent Examples on the Web His relationship with the Biden administration — especially during the current crackdown — has been far more combative. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 Cross-examination of Gleason by Misha Isaak, co-counsel for Taggart, Oderinde and UO, was combative as the attorney questioned the witness’s qualifications and present employment as an entrepreneur and consultant. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 14 Apr. 2022 Russell Fry, the state representative who has won Trump’s endorsement against Rice, is certainly Trump’s equal in being combative. John Fund, National Review, 13 Mar. 2022 By the end of the season, he was being booed by the Lakers fans and became combative with the media. Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2022 Unlike other Republicans on the panel, Sasse failed to get combative with Jackson -- in-character with his kinder, gentler approach to drawing distinctions with liberals. Michael Warren, CNN, 23 Mar. 2022 Hamas is now well positioned for concessions from Egypt, which controls Gaza’s only border with the Arab world and whose president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has a combative relationship with the group. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 May 2021 This didn’t help his notoriously combative relationship with Mr. Loaf, who once threw a baby grand piano at him. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 21 Apr. 2021 Such an approach typically assumes a combative relationship that starts in the courts and can include a federal judge’s oversight of an agency for years. cleveland, 14 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'combative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of combative

1826, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of combative was in 1826

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Dictionary Entries Near combative

combat intelligence


combative accent

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Statistics for combative

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Combative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on combative

Nglish: Translation of combative for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of combative for Arabic Speakers


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