\ ˈfīt How to pronounce fight (audio) \
fought\ ˈfȯt How to pronounce fought (audio) \; 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

Verb 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. Noun 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 Mr Kiir and Mr Machar (pictured on next page; Mr Kiir in a hat) both belonged to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the political arm of the rebel army that fought for independence. The Economist, "A fraught path to peace South Sudan inches towards a unity government," 20 Feb. 2020 Sylejmani is a symptom of a larger problem: one of thousands of men who fought for ISIS, but whose minds are still fertile ground for radicalization. James Longman, ABC News, "Caliphate wives share their stories year after ISIS defeat: Reporter's Notebook," 19 Feb. 2020 Tzintzún Ramirez co-founded the Workers Defense Project, a group that has fought for the health and rights of construction workers. Dallas News, "Rep. Joaquin Castro backs Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez in Democratic Senate race against John Cornyn," 18 Feb. 2020 Biden, 77, who is fighting to stay in the 2020 Democratic race for the White House after finishing fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, was confronted by a voter in Reno over his electability ahead of this Saturday's Nevada caucuses. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden channels Bill Clinton 1992 'Comeback Kid' narrative to buoy sinking White House chances," 18 Feb. 2020 There's also a fellow prisoner in an iron mask who fights alongside Master. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We have no idea what to make of this bonkers trailer for The Iron Mask," 12 Feb. 2020 In recent years, Arab Gulf women have also fought hard for their rights. Alainna Liloia, The Conversation, "Women in Arab countries find themselves torn between opportunity and tradition," 11 Feb. 2020 One obstacle for Sinn Féin has been its beginnings as the political arm of the Irish Republican Army, a terrorist group that fought a three-decade battle to forcibly unify Ireland. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "Leo Varadkar Might Return as Ireland’s Prime Minister, Exit Poll Shows," 8 Feb. 2020 The charges forced him to mourn seven friends who died in the fire and the loss of his home, while fighting for his own freedom. Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle, "Life after Ghost Ship," 7 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The euro-zone economy is floundering again and the German public is increasingly mistrustful of ECB policy, suggesting the risk of further fights over monetary loosening. The Economist, "Spheres of influence The Bundesbank is caught between a doveish ECB and a suspicious public," 22 Feb. 2020 If you're concerned about energy in the West, your eyes are glued to the fight over the future of PG&E in Northern California. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Moms. vs. cement, and composting human remains," 21 Feb. 2020 The fight over who won the Iowa caucuses isn't over just yet after Bernie Sanders's campaign asked for a recount. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Sanders campaign wages recount fight in Iowa," 19 Feb. 2020 In a fight over negotiating tactics, the U.A.W. lost 120,000 members in 1985 when its Canadian division broke away and created the Canadian Auto Workers as an independent union. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Owen Bieber, Auto Workers’ President During Period of Decline, Dies at 90," 17 Feb. 2020 The fight over Huawei has put many European countries in a no-win position, forcing them to either rebuff a key intelligence ally’s warnings and risk their key alliance, or alienate China, a critical trading partner. David Mccabe,, "Huawei is winning the argument in Europe, as the US fumbles to develop alternatives," 17 Feb. 2020 The fight over whether pro-life voters count as Democrats amounts to nothing more than useless quibbling over rhetoric. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Welcoming Pro-Life Democrats Is Not Enough," 14 Feb. 2020 Tensions rise when the factory doesn’t initially meet production goals, culminating in a bitter fight over the right to unionize. Mark Kennedy, Houston Chronicle, "Obama-backed documentary on Ohio factory wins Academy Award," 9 Feb. 2020 The proposal to open the land for business is expected to energize a legal fight over the land, which includes badlands, slot canyons, and other features sacred to Native American nations. Harold Maass, TheWeek, "February 7, 2020," 7 Feb. 2020

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

Verb and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for fight

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fight

Last Updated

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for fight


How to pronounce fight (audio)

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 How to pronounce fight (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on fight

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fight

Spanish Central: Translation of fight

Nglish: Translation of fight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fight for Arabic Speakers

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