combat

1 of 3

noun

com·​bat ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio)
1
: a fight or contest between individuals or groups
2
3
: active fighting in a war : action
casualties suffered in combat

combat

2 of 3

verb

com·​bat kəm-ˈbat How to pronounce combat (audio)
ˈkäm-ˌba-
combated or combatted; combating or combatting

intransitive verb

: to engage in combat : fight

transitive verb

1
: to fight with : battle
2
: to struggle against
especially : to strive to reduce or eliminate
combat pollution

combat

3 of 3

adjective

com·​bat ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio)
1
: relating to combat
combat missions
2
: designed or destined for combat
combat boots
combat troops
Choose the Right Synonym for combat

oppose, combat, resist, withstand mean to set oneself against someone or something.

oppose can apply to any conflict, from mere objection to bitter hostility or warfare.

opposed the plan

combat stresses the forceful or urgent countering of something.

combat disease

resist implies an overt recognition of a hostile or threatening force and a positive effort to counteract or repel it.

resisting temptation

withstand suggests a more passive resistance.

trying to withstand peer pressure

Examples of combat in a Sentence

Noun Some of these soldiers have never seen combat. He was killed in combat. Verb The drug helps combat infection. She dedicated her life to combating poverty. Exercise can help combat the effects of stress. The mayor pledged to combat crime. They have been combating the rebels for months.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Indeed, since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Moscow and Tehran have considerably expanded their military-technical cooperation, with Russia receiving various types of Iranian combat drones, artillery shells, small arms ammunition and glide bombs. Hanna Notte, Foreign Affairs, 15 July 2024 After all, if high-stakes car flips and complex combat scenes can be created with AI, who needs stunt doubles? Kalia Richardson, Rolling Stone, 14 July 2024
Verb
Related Articles New graduation requirements coming for California seniors Bay Area receives $14 million from state to combat youth homelessness Ban on schools’ gender notification policies heads to Gov. Newsom. Joe Mathews, The Mercury News, 4 July 2024 So while any mansion tax would be controversial, alternatively seeking more revenue from the poor and middle class — even to combat homelessness — likely would create even greater waves at the Capitol. Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 4 July 2024
Adjective
Players represent the Axis powers and the Allied powers, and in every turn get to make both combat and non-combat moves across the globe as well as decide what military units to build and whether or not to fund research. Julianne Hilmes Bartlett, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Mar. 2022 In a recent visit to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi leaders, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said U.S. forces are ready to remain in Iraq, in a non-combat role, at the invitation of the government. Lolita C. Baldor and Tara Copp, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Mar. 2023 See all Example Sentences for combat 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'combat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Anglo-French, from combatre to attack, fight, from Vulgar Latin *combattere, from Latin com- + battuere to beat

First Known Use

Noun

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Adjective

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of combat was in 1546

Dictionary Entries Near combat

Cite this Entry

“Combat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/combat. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

combat

1 of 2 noun
com·​bat ˈkäm-ˌbat How to pronounce combat (audio)
1
: a fight or contest between individuals or groups
2
3
: active fighting in a war : action
soldiers experienced in combat

combat

2 of 2 verb
com·​bat kəm-ˈbat How to pronounce combat (audio)
ˈkäm-ˌbat
combated or combatted; combating or combatting
1
: to fight with : battle
2
: to struggle against
especially : to strive to reduce or eliminate
combat disease

More from Merriam-Webster on combat

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