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

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

WEDNESDAY Trump lambasted European allies in combative remarks on camera at the breakfast with Stoltenberg. Martin Finucane,, "Believe it or not, President Trump has been in Europe a little over 72 hours," 13 July 2018 The fast-talking, playfully combative morning show host is getting his own platform on June 4. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "With New Primetime Show, CNN Bets On Chris Cuomo," 23 May 2018 Known for his combative style and fierce loyalty to Trump, Cohen served for a decade as a top lawyer at the Trump Organization, tangling with reporters and Trump's business competitors on behalf of the celebrity real estate mogul. The Washington Post,, "Trump's lawyer Cohen probed for possible bank fraud, campaign finance violations," 10 Apr. 2018 The 71-year-old is unlikely to spring any real surprises in Russia this summer, and so fans can look forward to a solid defensive shape, with fullbacks who attack only when absolutely necessary, and a midfield that is more combative than creative., "Suarez, Cavani Return to Lead Group A Favorite Uruguay at World Cup," 30 May 2018 Some are overly combative (Aries, Scorpio), and some are impossibly complacent (Cancer, Libra). Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Worst Relationship Habit," 14 May 2018 The beginning of this hearing is already rather combative. Tim Ross,, "Varadkar Wants Progress on Ireland Border by June: Brexit Update," 25 Apr. 2018 Instead of appearing as a sympathetic victim, Monroy was somewhat combative under questioning by Norgaard. Sam Stanton, sacbee, "Wife of cop-killer found guilty of murder for helping him move gun used in killings," 16 Feb. 2018 Next chapter, same as the last several chapters for Griffin in L.A. * NBA players continue to challenge almost every referee call while still wondering why officials seem to be so combative this season. Bud Shaw,, "The Browns could offer Alex Smith a chance to take them up, up and away -- Bud Shaw's Spinoffs," 30 Jan. 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

7 Apr 2019

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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

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


using a distributed computer network

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