\ 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

Companies have fought vicious lawsuits in attempts to protect their self-driving secrets, and given how wide open the potential market is for the technology there is little sign the tensions will end any time soon. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ex-Apple Employee Charged With Stealing Self-Driving Tech," 11 July 2018 Houseguests continue to fight for the grand-prize of $500,000. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "On TV This Week: All the Top Shows and Movies You Need to Catch," 7 July 2018 In the years since Martin’s death, several Black Americans have been killed in racially-motivated incidents, both with the police and with other civilians, and his parents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, have continued to fight for justice. Britni Danielle,, "Watch the Gripping New Trailer For ‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’," 3 July 2018 Or, before leaving to fight for the right to own human property, perhaps General Joseph Johnston took Mary Stevens to the 1859 Cobb County Prom. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Confederate Barbie Says 'Minority' Who Doesn't Like Confederate Monuments is Like ISIS," 2 July 2018 From natural disaster relief to tribal land rights, drug rehabilitation programmes to vaccinations, the horological industry has been fighting the good fight. A-LIST, "The Vanity Fair On Time Philanthropy Portfolio," 1 July 2018 All were moved to fight for certain issues in their respective communities, from police brutality, to illnesses caused by the coal industry, to the broken health-care system. Yohana Desta, HWD, "The Establishment Didn’t Think Ocasio-Cortez Could Win—But This Documentary Filmmaker Did," 29 June 2018 There are all kinds of parables about nature fighting back against evil, but nothing has ever been so explicit as House Speaker Paul Ryan’s recent saga with woodchucks (alias groundhog). Caitlin Wolper, Teen Vogue, "House Speaker Paul Ryan Says Woodchucks Destroyed His Car," 13 July 2018 Expect a sea change in the Latin music business as women both on and offstage assume leadership roles and fight back against an industry that is legendary for sexism. Jessica Lipsky, Billboard, "Latin Women Take The Reins: Insights From the Latin Alternative Music Conference," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During the fight, the rapper reportedly punched member of the club’s security in the face and caused the police to get involved. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine arrested in New York for alleged assault inside Houston’s Galleria Mall," 12 July 2018 Police are searching for a suspect, who pulled a gun during the fight and shot the man. Mike Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man dies after being shot during a fight Thursday morning," 12 July 2018 Police say the second person was not shot but was taken to the hospital with injuries caused during the fight. charlotteobserver, "Bar employee shot early Wednesday, seriously injured in Plaza Midwood," 11 July 2018 Police said Harris hit Kim on the head with a chair during a fight. Jess Nocera, Laurel Leader, "Laurel man arrested on first- and second-degree murder charges," 11 July 2018 In 2016, Justin again hurtled the word at a man during a Cleveland fight. Mariah Smith, The Cut, "Like Everything, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin’s Relationship Is Connected to the Kardashians," 11 July 2018 During the fight, someone in the crowd referenced a gun, which caused people to run. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "He reported a drowning to test police, cops say. They came quickly — and arrested him," 10 July 2018 Judge Kavanaugh’s occasional cases on hot issues are sure to draw attention during the confirmation fight. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Kavanaugh’s Past—Political and Judicial—to Fuel Confirmation Debate," 10 July 2018 Police said Harris hit Kim in the head with a chair during a fight June 4. Sarah Meehan,, "Laurel man arrested, charged with hitting man in head with chair, killing him," 6 July 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

21 Sep 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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Comments on fight

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