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

Judge threatens to hold father in contempt of court The accuser's father, Nick Little, was combative throughout his testimony, prompting Barrett to threaten to hold him in contempt court on multiple occasions. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "6 key moments from a wild day in court in Kevin Spacey groping case," 9 July 2019 The extent to which local and state police should cooperate with ICE has become a combative issue nationally and in Pennsylvania. Jeff Gammage, ProPublica, "ACLU Sues Pennsylvania State Police, Alleging They’ve Overstepped in Acting as Immigration Authorities," 5 July 2019 No exploration of the combative Civil Rights era would be complete without close looks at the two dramatically contrasting leaders of the movement. Scott Huver, CNN, "Patriotic movies about America's character being tested," 4 July 2019 Sanders is beloved by Trump supporters and a star in conservative media circles, but is far less popular with moderates and Democrats who have decried her combative attitude toward the media. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Sarah Huckabee Sanders End Up on Television?," 14 June 2019 Last season, Jones became combative about sharing playing time with rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins’ 2018 first-round pick, during a game last season. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins excited about Reshad Jones’ practice participation," 4 June 2019 The police report contends the couple stole other items from the store and were combative with police. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "'Upsetting,' 'sick': Phoenix City Council reacts to viral arrest video," 18 June 2019 Weight claims that Bartlett then stepped very close to him in a combative way, so Weight pushed him back. Jack Greiner,, "Arctic Man festival leads to First Amendment challenge," 11 June 2019 Though once a political ally of Turner, Boykins has become increasingly combative with the mayor amid the city’s ongoing labor dispute with the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association. Jasper Scherer, Houston Chronicle, "Councilman Dwight Boykins files paperwork indicating run for mayor," 5 June 2019

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

14 Jul 2019

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

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