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 Law enforcement officials said the protesters were violent and combative. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "DHS watchdog declined to investigate Secret Service's use of force in Lafayette Square," 20 Apr. 2021 In these fraught and combative days reducing America to a veritable nation of anger, a loss this profound is going to be felt across the land. Liz Elting, Forbes, "Women’s Jobs Are Vanishing. We’re Going To Have To Deal With That Eventually.," 19 Mar. 2021 Boylan described the workplace culture under the Governor as aggressive and combative. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, "Cuomo’s First Accuser Raises New Claims of Harassment and Retaliation," 18 Mar. 2021 It was inspired by her observations of flight attendants, who were required to continue smiling even when passengers were combative or rude. Mirel Zaman,, "What Is Emotional Labour, Really? You Might Be Surprised," 11 Feb. 2021 But Milton — a flashy, charming and combative entrepreneur who last year purchased the most expensive home in Utah's history — found himself out of a job, the target of federal investigations and worth $4 billion less., "The biggest Arizona headlines of 2020, from COVID-19 to the elections," 28 Dec. 2020 Chauvin said Floyd became combative after officers tried to put Floyd in the car. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "A week of compelling and potentially devastating testimony at Derek Chauvin's murder trial," 3 Apr. 2021 An ambulance was requested and the man became combative with paramedics and the officer. cleveland, "Intoxicated woman goes to American Legion bar, husband passed out at home: Fairview Park Police Blotter," 31 Mar. 2021 Both Osbourne and co-host Sheryl Underwood broke out in tears over the discussion, in which Osbourne became combative. Nick Romano,, "Piers Morgan demands apology from The Talk for 'disgraceful slurs' against him," 12 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for combative

Time Traveler

The first known use of combative was in 1826

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Statistics for combative

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Combative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for combative



English Language Learners Definition of combative

: having or showing a willingness to fight or argue

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