Synonyms & Antonyms of combat

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to oppose (someone) in physical conflict
  • a general eager to combat the enemy on his own ground

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2 to strive to reduce or eliminate
  • must marshal all of our resources to combat this disease

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Synonyms & Antonyms of combat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 active fighting during the course of a war
  • a soldier who served throughout the war without actually seeing combat

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2 a physical dispute between opposing individuals or groups
  • the two stags entered a furious combat for dominance of the herd

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3 an earnest effort for superiority or victory over another
  • the fierce ideological combat between the religionists and the secularists

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Frequently Asked Questions About combat

How does the verb combat differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of combat are oppose, resist, and withstand. While all these words mean "to set oneself against someone or something," combat stresses the forceful or urgent countering of something.

combat disease

Where would oppose be a reasonable alternative to combat?

In some situations, the words oppose and combat are roughly equivalent. However, oppose can apply to any conflict, from mere objection to bitter hostility or warfare.

opposed the plan

When can resist be used instead of combat?

The words resist and combat can be used in similar contexts, but resist implies an overt recognition of a hostile or threatening force and a positive effort to counteract or repel it.

resisting temptation

In what contexts can withstand take the place of combat?

The words withstand and combat are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, withstand suggests a more passive resistance.

trying to withstand peer pressure

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Time Traveler for combat

Time Traveler

The first known use of combat was in 1546

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Cite this Entry

“Combat.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on combat

Nglish: Translation of combat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of combat for Arabic Speakers


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