non·​com·​bat·​ant | \ ˌnän-kəm-ˈba-tᵊnt How to pronounce noncombatant (audio) also ˌnän-ˈkäm-bə-tənt How to pronounce noncombatant (audio) \

Definition of noncombatant

: one that does not engage in combat: such as
a : a member (such as a chaplain) of the armed forces whose duties do not include fighting

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Other Words from noncombatant

noncombatant adjective

Examples of noncombatant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The job of writing the official ballot descriptions should be turned over to a neutral noncombatant such as the nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst’s Office. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Expanding vote by mail in California was a success. Let’s do it permanently," 12 Nov. 2020 Produced by Steven Soderbergh and directed by Paul Pawlowski, this documentary tells the story of a soldier who allegedly ordered his men to fire on noncombatants in Afghanistan. Noel Murray, New York Times, "The Best Movies and TV Shows New to Netflix, Amazon and Stan in Australia in March," 3 Mar. 2020 Insomnia affects up to 41 percent of active-duty military personnel deployed to combat zones, 25 percent of noncombatants and 20 percent of those getting ready to deploy. Sig Christenson,, "San Antonio doctor leads development of new sleep disorder guidelines," 24 Feb. 2020 As the Delta Force team breached the wall with explosives, an Arabic linguist advised children and other noncombatants how to flee, a decision commanders credited with saving 11 of the children Mr. al-Baghdadi had in his compound. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, "Trump’s Syria Troop Withdrawal Complicated Plans for al-Baghdadi Raid," 27 Oct. 2019 These are his mother and siblings and younger self, in 1968, noncombatants caught in the midst of Nigeria’s civil war over the breakaway region of Biafra. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: For These African Immigrants, Life Is a Haunted House," 23 Sep. 2019 The missile is used by the Central Intelligence Agency to target specific individuals without risk to nearby civilians and other noncombatants. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The CIA’s Blade-Wielding 'Flying Ginsu' Missile Strikes Again," 10 Dec. 2019 That’s a whole different matter altogether, and for now the service is committed to keeping a man in the loop who will approve each potential target, making sure unmanned systems don’t engage noncombatants. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Army Develops a Robot Brain for Controlling Armored Vehicles," 23 Nov. 2019 An initiative to protect Libyan noncombatants by means of a no-fly zone began to circulate in the Situation Room, but Qaddafi’s conspicuous lack of airpower meant that this method would have little effect on the impending bloodbath. Brian Stewart, National Review, "The Education of a Cynic," 5 Oct. 2019

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

1811, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for noncombatant

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The first known use of noncombatant was in 1811

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Statistics for noncombatant

Last Updated

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Noncombatant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for noncombatant


How to pronounce noncombatant (audio) How to pronounce noncombatant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of noncombatant

: a person (such as a military chaplain or doctor) who is in the army, navy, etc., but does not fight
: a person who is not in the army, navy, etc.


non·​com·​bat·​ant | \ ˌnän-kəm-ˈba-tᵊnt How to pronounce noncombatant (audio) , ˈnän-ˈkäm-bə-tənt \

Kids Definition of noncombatant

1 : a member (as a chaplain) of the armed forces whose duties do not include fighting
2 : a person who is not in the armed forces : civilian

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Nglish: Translation of noncombatant for Spanish Speakers

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