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 Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi has a record of human rights abuses and seems poised to steer the country toward an increasingly combative foreign policy while instilling fear among much of its own population. David A. Andelman, CNN, 20 June 2021 The company needs to appease increasingly combative regulators, who are looking for any reason to investigate the company. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 12 June 2021 Local election officials and experts have cited publicity around the Newsom recall, as well as pandemic fallout and an increasingly combative national political atmosphere, as likely factors driving this year’s frenzy of local recalls. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 11 June 2021 The Trump administration moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, closed its consulate for Palestinian affairs, shut down the Palestinian mission in the United States, and took a more combative line against Israel’s enemy Iran. New York Times, 30 May 2021 Stiger agreed with Nelson that there are circumstances when a person who had once resisted arrest and then complied with officers could become combative again. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, 8 Apr. 2021 Groce may become combative if confronted, according to IMPD. Rashika Jaipuriar, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Apr. 2021 In contrast to several American states that have high percentages of people skeptical of vaccines, Chileans overwhelmingly favor getting jabbed and have been less combative against mask mandates and restrictive measures. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, 10 Mar. 2021 Anderson praised Chase and Trump for their policies, but said both are too combative. Washington Post, 4 June 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

24 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Combative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for combative



English Language Learners Definition of combative

: having or showing a willingness to fight or argue

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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