dog·​fight ˈdȯg-ˌfīt How to pronounce dogfight (audio)
: a fight between dogs
broadly : a fiercely disputed contest
: a fight between two or more fighter planes usually at close quarters
dogfight intransitive verb
dogfighter noun

Examples of dogfight in a Sentence

He was shot down in a dogfight over enemy territory. The election has turned into a real dogfight.
Recent Examples on the Web The program's director told Knapp about the Russian warplane dogfights with UFOs. Chris Eberhart, Fox News, 29 July 2023 Expect an absolute dogfight between the AFC North's top teams. The Enquirer, 8 Sep. 2023 The win not only set the tone for the rest of the Owls’ season, but ultimately served as a showcase of two conference’s better teams as the county looks forward to another competitive dogfight for the title in 2023. Timothy Dashiell, Baltimore Sun, 19 Sep. 2023 Late in that film, Porco tells the story of his best friend’s death in a dogfight. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 8 Sep. 2023 The Astros are in a dogfight for the AL West with the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, but appear well-prepared for another deep postseason run after reacquiring Justin Verlander, who will be on the mound Sunday, from the New York Mets at the trade deadline. Andrew Birkle, Detroit Free Press, 26 Aug. 2023 Related:How to cut Texans’ taxes by more than $11B unleashes GOP dogfight in Austin Austin Democratic Sen. Sarah Eckhardt applauded, while cautioning that lawmakers this summer also should finish their work on public school funding and teacher pay. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, 30 May 2023 Analysts say the jet’s introduction increased the versatility of the Essex, giving it a better aircraft for aerial dogfights while also providing improved ground support for Marines. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Aug. 2023 What happens when Philly gets in a dogfight with a squad that can go toe-to-toe, one that has an elite quarterback in Patrick Mahomes – the type, save Aaron Rodgers in a subpar year, the Eagles really haven’t faced this season? USA TODAY, 12 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dogfight.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dogfight was circa 1656

Dictionary Entries Near dogfight

Cite this Entry

“Dogfight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


dog·​fight -ˌfīt How to pronounce dogfight (audio)
: a fight at close range between fighter planes
dogfight verb
dogfighter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dogfight

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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