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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After years of combat between these unlikable combatants, neutrality is tempting but facile. Jefferson Morley, The New Republic, "Democrats Are Trapped in Trump’s “Deep State” War," 16 Sep. 2019 Gold Star families have had an immediate relative in the U.S. Armed Forces killed in combat or in support of certain military activities. Ramona Sentinel, "Special Liberty Project receives $2,500 for Gold Star event," 7 Sep. 2019 Two crippled BTGs will render the parent unit, a Russian tank brigade, incapable of offensive combat. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Destroyer Concept Is a Tank Battalion’s Worst Nightmare," 5 Sep. 2019 The operation is targeting the news media by using one of the most effective weapons of political combat — deep and laborious research into the public records of opponents to find contradictions, controversial opinions or toxic affiliations. New York Times, "Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House," 25 Aug. 2019 The paintings are striking images that muse on post-traumatic stress disorder and the psychological costs of combat. The Economist, "Ben Quilty’s paintings depict violence, loss and “death jackets”," 9 Aug. 2019 During four days of combat in January 1945 on a German-fortified ridge in Rochelinval, the 551st suffered a crushing 84 percent casualty rate. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Daughter honors father’s memory at 75th anniversary of ‘The Other D-Day’ in France," 6 Aug. 2019 His blood, toil, and tears helped transform wrestling into a serious form of combat that was rich in storytelling. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "‘He Was the Last Real World’s Champion’: Fellow Legends Pay Tribute to Harley Race," 2 Aug. 2019 Twenty-three thousand soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after 12 hours of combat during the Civil War. Brittany Brown, baltimoresun.com, "Five Maryland historical sites hosting Fourth of July events," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By some estimates, animal agriculture accounts for roughly half of annual emissions around the globe, and by all accounts, cutting down on meat is one of the simplest and most effective ways for humans to combat the climate crisis. Kate Wheeling, The New Republic, "Jonathan Safran Foer on Our Moral Obligation to Eat Better," 17 Sep. 2019 The best way to combat the Bears’ pass rush was to throw quickly. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Talking Points: Crazy finish allows Chicago to win," 15 Sep. 2019 But increasing teacher pay would not radically transform schools in the way that the Green New Deal would combat climate change or free-college could revolutionize higher education. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Missing Education Questions in the Democratic Debate," 13 Sep. 2019 That could be important for the Celtics, of course, because Al Horford, Marcus Morris, and Aron Baynes are gone now, and Boston will need to find creative ways to combat Antetokounmpo, whose Bucks will likely be Eastern Conference favorites. BostonGlobe.com, "an 89-79 loss to France in the quarterfinals," 12 Sep. 2019 The toll is increasingly catching the attention of French officials, who have begun taking more urgent steps to combat the trend. Laure Fourquet, New York Times, "As Deaths Mount, France Tries to Get Serious About Domestic Violence," 3 Sep. 2019 The only way to combat all forms of prejudice is to see them as different aspects of the same root, prejudging another group of people. baltimoresun.com, "Letters: Howard redistricting plan fixes nothing; don’t blame ICE for doing its job; and more from readers," 3 Sep. 2019 One way to combat this disparity is to create climate zones. Graham Hiemstra, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Your HVAC System Ready for Winter," 29 Aug. 2019 One way to combat vaping is through legislation, said Salazar, who pointed to cities like Beverly Hills, which banned tobacco sales, and San Francisco, which prohibited e-cigarettes. Andrew J. Campa, Burbank Leader, "Vaping ‘epidemic’ prompts Burbank Unified forum," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Combat summer heat and humidity with beauty products that put the emphasis on natural and organic ingredients. Christy Lorio, NOLA.com, "5 all-natural, skin refreshing beauty products," 2 Aug. 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about combat

Statistics for combat

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for combat

The first known use of combat was in 1546

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on combat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with combat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for combat

Spanish Central: Translation of combat

Nglish: Translation of combat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of combat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on combat

What made you want to look up combat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!