combat

noun
com·​bat | \ ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio) \

Definition of combat

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a fight or contest between individuals or groups
3 : active fighting in a war : action casualties suffered in combat

combat

verb
com·​bat | \ kəm-ˈbat How to pronounce combat (audio) , ˈkäm-ˌba- \
combated or combatted; combating or combatting

Definition of combat (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to engage in combat : fight

transitive verb

1 : to fight with : battle
2 : to struggle against especially : to strive to reduce or eliminate combat pollution

combat

adjective
com·​bat | \ ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio) \

Definition of combat (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : relating to combat combat missions
2 : designed or destined for combat combat boots combat troops

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Choose the Right Synonym for combat

Verb

oppose, combat, resist, withstand mean to set oneself against someone or something. oppose can apply to any conflict, from mere objection to bitter hostility or warfare. opposed the plan combat stresses the forceful or urgent countering of something. combat disease resist implies an overt recognition of a hostile or threatening force and a positive effort to counteract or repel it. resisting temptation withstand suggests a more passive resistance. trying to withstand peer pressure

Examples of combat in a Sentence

Noun Some of these soldiers have never seen combat. He was killed in combat. Verb The drug helps combat infection. She dedicated her life to combating poverty. Exercise can help combat the effects of stress. The mayor pledged to combat crime. They have been combating the rebels for months.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wisconsin is about to begin distributing millions of seedlings to landowners across the state, to help with reforestation and to help combat climate change. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin DNR to distribute 4.7 million seedlings this year in effort to help reforestation, fight climate change," 22 Apr. 2021 Prince Philip's two direct descendants that do have sterling military records — who are also combat veterans with longstanding connections to their units as well as to many other military units — are, of course, the princes Andrew and Harry. Guy Martin, Forbes, "How The Queen Decided That Her Family Would Mourn Prince Philip In Civilian Dress," 15 Apr. 2021 Lori Garver is the former deputy administrator of the NASA, and is now CEO of Earthrise Alliance, a philanthropic organization that converts Earth systems data into relevant and actionable knowledge to combat climate change. Lori Garver, Scientific American, "Bill Nelson Isn't the Best Choice for NASA Administrator," 12 Apr. 2021 Lori Ann Piestewa of Tuba City, Arizona, who was the first woman to be killed in combat in Iraq. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Jessica Lynch Fast Facts," 11 Apr. 2021 Indeed, representation matters and the producers should be commended for attempting to tell this story and assembling a creative team with Afghans, Afghan Americans, Muslims and combat veterans to do it. cleveland, "Did ‘United States of Al’ deserve all that criticism? New series from ‘Big Bang Theory’ creator premieres on CBS," 1 Apr. 2021 More than half of the Medals of Honor awarded in both Iraq and Afghanistan — 13 in total — were awarded for combat in Konar and Nurestan provinces. Washington Post, "American troops fought hard in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley. But why?," 26 Mar. 2021 Those optics may have faded, just as images of combat in Afghanistan have become abstractions to too many Americans amid enduring strife. Star Tribune, "Ending the 'forever internment system' of Guantanamo Bay," 26 Feb. 2021 Austin is widely admired for his military service, which includes leading troops in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and overseeing U.S. military operations throughout the greater Middle East as head of Central Command. Anchorage Daily News, "Biden’s historic nominee for defense secretary leaves some congressional Democrats in a bind," 10 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To combat the virus, the Netherlands culled its entire population of 4 million mink and permanently closed down its mink industry. Detroit Free Press, "CDC: Michigan taxidermist may have caught COVID-19 from infected mink," 29 Apr. 2021 In any case, the situation is troubling—especially if the US is hoping to reach herd immunity to combat the virus. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "What Happens If You Miss Your 2nd COVID-19 Shot? Here’s What to Do—And Why It’s So Important to Get Both Doses," 28 Apr. 2021 In their Monday phone call, according to senior administration officials, Biden and Modi pledged to work closely together to combat the virus and Biden promised steadfast support for the people of India amid the surge in Covid cases. Time, "U.S. to Share 60 Million Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccines Amid Global COVID-19 Surge," 27 Apr. 2021 Even as career government scientists worked to combat the virus, a cadre of Trump appointees were attempting to blunt the scientists’ messages, edit their findings, and equip the president with an alternate set of talking points. BostonGlobe.com, "‘Yippee!!!’: Trump officials celebrated efforts to change CDC reports on coronavirus, e-mails show," 9 Apr. 2021 With most Connecticut residents still not vaccinated in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, state lawmakers voted Thursday to extend Gov. Ned Lamont’s extraordinary powers to combat the virus for another month. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "Connecticut House votes to extend Gov. Ned Lamont’s emergency COVID-19 powers and all executive orders until May 20," 25 Mar. 2021 That effectively sparked an epidemic within the pandemic, making measures to combat the virus’s spread less effective. Washington Post, "While its AstraZeneca covid vaccinations are suspended, Europe is confronting a third wave," 17 Mar. 2021 Biden has stressed proper hygiene and mask mandates as a tool to combat the virus as people await their turn to receive one of the three available coronavirus vaccines. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Biden climate czar John Kerry spotted maskless sitting in first class on commercial flight," 17 Mar. 2021 House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., argued that Democrats were using little of the money to actually combat the virus or help people. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, "Democrats pass $1.9T COVID-19 aid plan on party-line vote; Arizona could get $16B," 11 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The program had been restricted to non-combat areas such as English-language training. Rod Mcguirk, Star Tribune, "Australia ends defense cooperation with Myanmar over coup," 7 Mar. 2021 Anthony Bermudez, a Grand Prairie native, died in a non-combat vehicle accident in Kuwait on Monday, according to multiple reports. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, "Soldier from Grand Prairie dies in Kuwait vehicle accident," 14 Jan. 2021 Women, meanwhile, were only allowed to take command positions in non-combat roles in the 1970s. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "A New Museum Delves Into the Complex History of the U.S. Army," 13 Nov. 2020 Corey Staten was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal -- the highest honor for non-combat bravery -- in a ceremony last week in Baltimore. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Marine who drowned saving another Marine honored for heroism," 31 Oct. 2020 Skarlatos was awarded the nation’s highest honor for non-combat action and played himself in a Clint Eastwood movie about the event. Daniel Flatley, Bloomberg.com, "A Few Long-Serving House Democrats Face Surprise Election Fights," 29 Oct. 2020 Heavy casualties among African Americans, particularly early in the Vietnam War, and the prospect of better post-military employment options made non-combat units such as logistics a preferred choice. USA Today, "Where are the Black officers? US Army shows diversity in its ranks but few promotions to the top," 1 Sep. 2020 The WASPs were the first-ever female U.S. military pilots and flew non-combat missions during the war. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "There Are Still No U.S. Airports Named After Women of Color," 27 Aug. 2020 The Military Sealift Command is a navy within a navy, a fleet of unmanned, non-combat ships staffed by civilians. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This U.S. Navy Ship Was Actually Built by the Soviet Union," 3 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'combat.' 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 combat

Noun

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Adjective

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for combat

Noun

Anglo-French, from combatre to attack, fight, from Vulgar Latin *combattere, from Latin com- + battuere to beat

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Learn More about combat

Statistics for combat

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Combat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/combat. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for combat

combat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of combat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: active fighting especially in a war

combat

verb

English Language Learners Definition of combat (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try to stop (something) from happening or getting worse
formal : to fight against (someone) : to engage in combat against (an enemy)

combat

noun
com·​bat | \ ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio) \

Kids Definition of combat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fight or contest between individuals or groups
2 : active military fighting Five soldiers were wounded in combat.

combat

verb
com·​bat | \ kəm-ˈbat How to pronounce combat (audio) , ˈkäm-ˌbat \
combated or combatted; combating or combatting

Kids Definition of combat (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fight with : fight against : oppose combat disease

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