dog·​fight | \ˈdȯg-ˌfīt \

Definition of dogfight 

1 : a fight between dogs broadly : a fiercely disputed contest

2 : a fight between two or more fighter planes usually at close quarters

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Other Words from dogfight

dogfight intransitive verb
dogfighter \-​ˌfī-​tər \ 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

As private companies, Lyft has long been the No. 2 player in the U.S. ride-hailing dogfight to Uber, the global behemoth with more diverse revenue streams and more market share. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Why Lyft had to beat Uber to an IPO filing," 6 Dec. 2018 Right now, the top clip on Reddit is a wild dogfight where a player parachutes out of a plane only to have that plane crash right into the enemy, sending their rival down in flames. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fortnite adds planes and now people are playing it like Battlefield," 6 Dec. 2018 As has been well documented, the midfielder's contract with Schalke runs out at the end of the season, which has lead to the veritable dogfight that has ensued between the warring parties., "Leon Goretzka Yet to Decide on Future, Keeping Liverpool and Arsenal in the Hunt," 7 Jan. 2018 After being eliminated from the FA Cup, Southampton will now have to return to the grim reality of a Premier League relegation dogfight., "Mark Hughes Furious About Disallowed Goal and VAR As Southampton Fall to Chelsea in FA Cup Last 4," 23 Apr. 2018 In the past decade, speed and skill has become preferred to mental and physical toughness, which makes for prettier football, but the deadlock and dogfight matches just turn ugly as opposed to being exciting battles to the death., "Behind the Banners: 6 Real Arsenal Fan Perspectives on a Club Divided," 20 Apr. 2018 The original Top Gun featured aerial encounters and dogfights against Soviet pilots over the Indian Ocean. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What Planes Will Tom Cruise Fly in 'Top Gun: Maverick'?," 31 May 2018 And while both are firmly in the hunt this year, both are likely in for some dogfights. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Cubs-Indians: Five stark differences since their 2016 World Series showdown," 22 May 2018 But Simmons knew this game was going to be a dogfight and was locked in long before the game started. Sarah Todd,, "Ben Simmons keeps his cool in chippy Sixers-Heat Game 5 battle," 24 Apr. 2018

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

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for dogfight

Last Updated

18 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dogfight

The first known use of dogfight was circa 1656

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More Definitions for dogfight



English Language Learners Definition of dogfight

: a fight between dogs

: a fight between fighter planes that are flying close to each other

: a fierce fight or struggle between people or groups

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More from Merriam-Webster on dogfight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dogfight

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dogfight

Nglish: Translation of dogfight for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about dogfight

Comments on dogfight

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


a knickknack or trinket

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