com·bat·ive | \kəm-ˈba-tiv \

Definition of combative 

: marked by eagerness to fight or contend

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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

Still, some worried Trump’s combative stance toward allies could ultimately weaken the 69-year-old alliance. Washington Post, "Trump’s tough NATO talk plays well on eastern flank," 12 July 2018 The stand underscored just how much Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat long known as a mild-mannered moderate, has embraced a newly combative persona — and is betting on fiery opposition to Trump as a key to his reelection this fall. Jonathan Tamari,, "Bob Casey won't consider Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh. GOP hopes to make him pay," 10 July 2018 The withdrawal from the cap-and-trade scheme, under which businesses that want to emit carbon over a certain limit must buy permits from the government or from firms whose emissions fall below it, will begin Mr Ford’s tenure on a combative note. The Economist, "Doug Ford disrupts Canada’s climate policy," 28 June 2018 In an interview, Herbst acknowledged his combative streak. Daniela Altimari,, "Temperamental? Thin-Skinned? Republican Tim Herbst Says He's 'Authentic'," 28 June 2018 He was placed in handcuffs and calmed down for a few minutes before regaining energy, growling, kicking and becoming combative again. Austen Erblat,, "Wellington, Royal Palm Beach area crime log: June 15-30," 13 July 2018 About one-third of people with the disease become combative during the course of their illness, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Jonel Aleccia And Melissa Bailey, USA TODAY, "Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 1 July 2018 When deputies arrived at her home Monday, authorities said Sebby-Strempel became combative. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "South Carolina woman assaulted black teen at pool, bit deputy on arm upon arrest, police say," 27 June 2018 When officers attempted to speak to him, the man threatened officers with a kitchen knife and became combative. Lisa M. Bolton, Washington Post, "Prince William County," 27 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of combative

1826, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for combative

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for combative

The first known use of combative was in 1826

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English Language Learners Definition of combative

: having or showing a willingness to fight or argue

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Comments on combative

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