\ ˈfīt How to pronounce fight (audio) \
fought\ ˈfȯt How to pronounce fight (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 But Ochi, inspired by the 1968 East L.A. walkouts by Latino students demanding equal education, decided that law would be a better path to fight for social change. Los Angeles Times, "Rose Ochi, trailblazer for civil rights and Japanese American causes, dies at 81," 5 Jan. 2021 African American leaders back home in South Carolina had sent a resolution urging him to fight for the bill, which would guarantee equal treatment of all Americans, regardless of race. Christopher Frear, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meet Joseph Rainey, the First Black Congressman," 5 Jan. 2021 As Carnival 1866 approached, Merriam — who had operated a billiard hall in the city before marching off to fight for the Confederacy — announced plans for a new one at the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street. Mike Scott,, "Before it became the Pickwick Club, the Crescent Billiard Hall wowed as a pool player's paradise," 30 Dec. 2020 Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller, in a Dec. 14 Fox News interview, promised to fight for the pro-Trump slates. Deanna Paul, WSJ, "Republican Electors Cast Unofficial Ballots, Setting Up Congressional Clash," 28 Dec. 2020 It’s the second time Anderson has had to fight for the survival of UAA skiing, which has produced numerous NCAA All-Americans and a handful of NCAA champions over the years. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "UAA ski team raises the $628,000 needed to seek reinstatement of alpine squad," 28 Dec. 2020 Some Republicans on Sunday urged the president to sign the relief bill and fight for larger payments after that. Jordan Fabian,, "Trump Signs Virus Relief Bill After Panning $600 Checks," 28 Dec. 2020 And Tampa Bay Bucs fans also get to watch their team fight for better playoff position. Iliana Limón Romero,, "Key Dolphins game to air on CBS in Orlando on Sunday," 28 Dec. 2020 With her bullet-proof bracelets and her lasso of truth, Wonder Woman comes to the United States from the Amazons’ homeland, Paradise Island, to fight for democracy and women’s rights. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "Does “Wonder Woman 1984” Hide Its Hero’s True Superpowers?," 25 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mississippi State and Tulsa got into a multi-player, sidelines-clearing fight after the Bulldogs defeated the Golden Hurricane 28-26 at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Tyler Horka, USA TODAY, "Nasty brawl erupts at end of Armed Forces Bowl between Mississippi State and Tulsa," 31 Dec. 2020 But his most visible stock in trade was trouble — a marital fight, a star blurting a racist remark, a drunken toot. New York Times, "Howard J. Rubenstein, Public Relations Impresario, Dies at 88," 29 Dec. 2020 In the days following the fight, pictures and videos spread across social media showing attendees not wearing masks or keeping at least six feet of social distance while watching the bout between between Canelo Alvarez and Callum Smith. Joshua Fechter,, "As coronavirus worsens, San Antonio officials vow strict enforcement of safety measures at Valero Alamo Bowl," 28 Dec. 2020 The fight against her body's natural instinct to reject her new heart. Jim Axelrod, CBS News, "Murder-suicide leads to history-making heart transplant, new life for DC woman," 26 Dec. 2020 The vaccines from drug companies Pfizer and Moderna are being hailed as a game-changing weapon in the fight against COVID-19, which has killed more than 180 Alaskans and infected tens of thousands more. Author: Nathaniel Herz, Anchorage Daily News, "As groups clamor for vaccine, here’s how Alaska will decide who’s next in line," 24 Dec. 2020 The president’s announcement stunned Washington, where Monday’s vote on the deal—with concessions from both parties—had capped a bitter, monthslong fight. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Trump Asks Congress to Amend Covid-19 Package, Boost Direct Payments," 23 Dec. 2020 Amid this quiet, a fight for survival — economic, emotional — edged into view, with hints of that desperation coming block by block down one of Rome’s idyllic streets. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, "On my street in Rome, the coronavirus upended two worlds," 23 Dec. 2020 The fight against the current, and the largest, surge in coronavirus cases continues in Alabama as a second vaccine is set to be distributed. Ike Morgan |, al, "Down in Alabama: COVID updates; a home with 12 kids; Kevin Greene," 22 Dec. 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

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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