em·​bat·​tle im-ˈba-tᵊl How to pronounce embattle (audio)
embattled; embattling im-ˈba-tᵊl-iŋ How to pronounce embattle (audio)

transitive verb

: to arrange in order of battle : prepare for battle

Examples of embattle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On university campuses, the study of literature has been embattled and beleaguered for so long that chronicling the controversies has become a flourishing academic subfield in its own right. A.o. Scott, New York Times, 21 June 2023 The feature has embattled actor Jonathan Majors, who faces assault charges in New York, attached in the lead role. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 June 2023 After more than a year of severe stress, many of those countries have sought to distance themselves from embattled Moscow and find alternative avenues for trade, political connections, and security. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 June 2023 Meanwhile, front-running National Treasure seeks to get embattled trainer Bob Baffert his 18th victory in Triple Crown races, and his fourth Belmont. Stephen Edelson, The Courier-Journal, 8 June 2023 Instead of a victory lap, the next three years were a slow and embattled process to craft a more serious follow-up, at a time when most artists were expected to release a new LP or two every year. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 2 June 2023 That Swayman, starting his first game of the series after embattled Linus Ullmark was benched following consecutive losses in Games 5 and 6, could have (should have) made the save, only jangled those collective nerves a little more. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 1 May 2023 Other embattled regional banks report next week, including First Republic Bank on Monday and PacWest Bancorp on Tuesday. Jessica Menton, Fortune, 22 Apr. 2023 Charges for Santos: NBC News’ Justice reporters confirmed that embattled New York Republican Rep. George Santos faces federal charges and will make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon. Chuck Todd, NBC News, 10 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English embatailen, from Anglo-French embatailler, from en- + batailler to battle

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of embattle was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near embattle

Cite this Entry

“Embattle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embattle. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


em·​bat·​tle im-ˈbat-ᵊl How to pronounce embattle (audio)
embattled; embattling -ˈbat-liŋ How to pronounce embattle (audio)
: to arrange in order of battle : prepare for battle

More from Merriam-Webster on embattle

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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