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

Perez got out of a car and became combative with Guyger and another officer. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Female Dallas cop who killed man in his home charged with manslaughter," 2 Oct. 2018 On contact, the man became combative to a point of injuring a deputy but was ultimately subdued. Samantha Swindler,, "Stroller abandoned in street had only a doll inside: Forest Grove police log," 11 June 2018 Boys come and go, variously combative, flirtatious, and collegial, and there always seems to be someone on hand with a camera to post videos later in the day. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "Skate Kitchen Is Chock-Full of Memorable Characters," 10 Aug. 2018 Barça could well be in the market for a new combative midfielder this summer as recent speculation has suggested that a concrete offer of up to €50m has been received for Paulinho., "Barcelona Reportedly Eyeing Summer Swoop for Mexico World Cup Star Hector Herrera," 6 July 2018 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

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

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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).


a nest or breeding place

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