\ˈfīt \
fought\ ˈfȯt \; fighting

Definition of fight 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to contend in battle or physical combat especially : to strive to overcome a person by blows or weapons The soldiers fought bravely.

b : to engage in boxing He will fight for the heavyweight title next month.

2 : to put forth a determined effort They were fighting to stay awake.

transitive verb

1a(1) : to contend against in or as if in battle or physical combat fought the invaders of his homeland was fighting a forest fire

(2) : to box against in the ring fought several strong contenders

b(1) : to attempt to prevent the success or effectiveness of the company fought the takeover attempt

(2) : to oppose the passage or development of fight a bill in Congress

2a : wage, carry on fight a battle

b : to take part in (a boxing match or similar contest)

3 : to struggle to endure or surmount fight a cold is fighting cancer

4a : to gain by struggle fights his way through

b : to resolve by struggle fought out their differences in court

5a : to manage (a ship) in a battle or storm

b : to cause to struggle or contend

c : to manage in an unnecessarily rough or awkward manner

fight shy of

: to avoid facing or meeting



Definition of fight (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a hostile encounter : battle, combat

b : a boxing match

c : a verbal disagreement : argument

2 : a struggle for a goal or an objective a fight for justice

3 : strength or disposition for fighting : pugnacity still full of fight

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Examples of fight in a Sentence


When he was young he was always fighting. He fought like a tiger. The U.S. and Germany fought in World Wars I and II. They vowed to fight the invaders of their homeland. The U.S. fought Germany in World Wars I and II. He and his wife are always fighting over money. We were fighting to protect our jobs.


A fight broke out in the bar. When he was young he was always getting into fights. He got into another fight with his wife about money. a fight for the heavyweight title
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The ban, which is expected to be announced next week, is a step toward fighting what the FDA calls an epidemic of youth vaping. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "What a ban on e-cigarette flavors could mean for Big Tobacco," 9 Nov. 2018 But that doesn’t mean architects are fighting a losing battle. Diana Budds, Curbed, "3 ways architects can improve social equity," 8 Nov. 2018 In particular, vitamin C has been shown to stabilize and help regenerate vitamin E, making the combination of the two vitamins especially effective in fighting UV damage. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "The Best Antioxidants for Skin, According to Dermatologists," 8 Nov. 2018 But Hayes is used to fighting hard and breaking ground. Jill Filipovic, Harper's BAZAAR, "Your State-by-State Guide to Women Running in the Midterms," 31 Oct. 2018 Don't even bother fighting the urge to buy all of these dish towels. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Christmas Has Arrived At Target And Yep, It’s Magical," 30 Oct. 2018 Though most have not officially been in combat roles, these women have taken on crucial responsibilities in very dangerous places, sometimes fighting alongside the men; 168 have died in these wars. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 After fighting with each other through much of 2017, usually by proxy, the couple divorced in October of that year. Sean Elder, Town & Country, "The War of The Grosses: Inside the Bitter Divorce Battle of the Laguna Beach "Bond King"," 22 Oct. 2018 Redbook and TLC Network are teaming up to honor heroes fighting bullying in their communities. Jessica Press, Redbook, "Women Need to Know They Don't Have to Take Bullying in the Workplace," 19 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The other one is the schism that is going on in the Democratic party and the sort of fight for the party’s soul. Eric Johnson, Recode, "The media is responsible for President Trump and it still hasn’t learned from 2016, says Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi," 18 Oct. 2018 But more importantly, the conference’s goal is to remind people that the fight against HIV is not over, particularly in the southern U.S., which has become the epicenter of the HIV epidemic. Naseem S. Miller,, "Large AIDS conference coming to Orlando in September," 13 July 2018 Jones said the fight was about one of Henderson’s relatives. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "DeKalb woman convicted of throwing hot grease in victim’s face," 13 July 2018 The fight is under an internal investigation, and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability was investigating. Deanese Williams-harris,, "Off-duty Chicago police officer involved in early morning brawl on Northwest Side," 13 July 2018 The fight for Britain's leading pay-TV group is part of a bigger battle being waged in the entertainment industry as the world's media giants splash out tens of billions of dollars on deals to be able to compete with Netflix and Amazon. NBC News, "Comcast raises bid for Sky to $34 billion, tops Fox's offer," 11 July 2018 The fight over the vacant Supreme Court seat is sure to be a ferocious one. Aubrey Nagle,, "Local Dems oppose SCOTUS pick, school board hosts first public meeting | Morning Newsletter," 10 July 2018 At this critical juncture in the fight to save the scimitar-horned oryx, artificial insemination remains one of the most powerful tools at conservationists’ disposal. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx," 10 July 2018 For him, the fight is over; his lifetime appointment to the highest court in the country has begun. Anna North, Vox, "Christine Blasey Ford has a security detail because she still receives threats," 8 Nov. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fight


Middle English, from Old English feohtan; akin to Old High German fehtan to fight and perhaps to Latin pectere to comb — more at pectinate


see fight entry 1

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Statistics for fight

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fight

The first known use of fight was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fight



English Language Learners Definition of fight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use weapons or physical force to try to hurt someone, to defeat an enemy, etc. : to struggle in battle or physical combat

: to be involved in (a battle, struggle, etc.)

: to argue in an angry way



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

: a violent physical struggle between opponents

: an argument or quarrel

: a boxing match


\ˈfīt \
fought\ ˈfȯt \; fighting

Kids Definition of fight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to struggle in battle or in physical combat

2 : to argue angrily : quarrel

3 : to try hard She fought to stay awake.

4 : to struggle against fight discrimination

Other Words from fight

fighter noun



Kids Definition of fight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a meeting in battle or in physical combat

3 : strength or desire for fighting After being wrongly blamed, I was full of fight.

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