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 (kəm-băt′, kŏm′băt′)
v. com·bat·ed, com·bat·ing, com·bats or com·bat·ted or com·bat·ting
1. To oppose in battle; fight against.
2. To act or work in order to eliminate, curtail, or stop: efforts to combat crime; drugs that combat infection. See Synonyms at oppose.
v.intr. Archaic
To engage in fighting; contend or struggle.
n. (kŏm′băt′)
1. Fighting, especially with weapons: naval combat.
2. Contention or strife: rhetorical combat.
adj. (kŏm′băt′)
1. Of or relating to combat: flew 50 combat missions.
2. Intended for use or deployment in combat: combat boots; combat troops.

[French combattre, from Old French, from Late Latin combattere : Latin com-, com- + Latin battere, to beat (alteration of battuere).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. a fight, conflict, or struggle
2. (Military)
a. an action fought between two military forces
b. (as modifier): a combat jacket.
3. single combat a fight between two individuals; duel
4. (Military) close combat hand-to-hand combat fighting at close quarters
vb, -bats, -bating or -bated
5. (tr) to fight or defy
6. (intr; often foll by with or against) to struggle or strive (against); be in conflict (with): to combat against disease.
[C16: from French, from Old French combattre, from Vulgar Latin combattere (unattested), from Latin com- with + battuere to beat, hit]
comˈbatable adj
comˈbater n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(v. kəmˈbæt, ˈkɒm bæt; n. ˈkɒm bæt)

v. -bat•ed, -bat•ing (esp. Brit.) -bat•ted, -bat•ting, v.t.
1. to fight or contend against; oppose vigorously: to combat crime.
2. to battle; contend: to combat with disease.
3. active, armed fighting with enemy forces.
4. a fight, struggle, or controversy, as between two persons, teams, or ideas.
[1535–45; < Middle French combat (n.), combattre (v.) < Late Latin combattere < Latin com- + battuere to strike, beat]
com•bat′a•ble, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



battle royal A free-for-all; an encounter of many combatants; a heated argument or altercation. The term derives from the type of endurance contest, especially common in cockfighting, in which the ultimate victor is determined by a process of elimination through survival of many trial heats. The badly wounded survivor of these repeated pairings is often barely alive at battle’s close. Another type of battle royal from which the expression might derive was the custom of entering a number of pugilists into the ring at once, who fought each other in random and brutal fashion until only one remained conscious. Ralph Ellison includes a graphic description of the barbarous practice in Invisible Man.

broach [someone’s] claret To give someone a bloody nose. This euphemistically elegant expression for a very inelegant action and its result plays on the meaning of broach ‘to draw liquor from a cask’ and on claret as a red wine of Bordeaux.

donnybrook A wild fight or brawl, a melee or free-for-all; also Donnybrook Fair. For centuries, an annual two-week fair was held each summer in Donnybrook, Ireland. Invariably, vast amounts of whiskey were consumed and the huge crowds got out of control, turning the fair into a massive drunken brawl. Because of such consistently riotous behavior, the Donnybrook Fair was abolished in 1855, although to this day its name denotes any type of wild, general fighting.

fight like Kilkenny cats To fight fiercely and bitterly until both sides have been destroyed; to argue or debate viciously and with determination. Several marginally plausible legends surround this expression, the most popular of which holds that in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, some sadistic soldiers stationed in Kilkenny enjoyed the “sport” of tying two cats together by their tails and hanging them over a clothesline so that, face to face, they would fight to the death. When an officer approached to break up this daily activity, a soldier cut off the cats’ tails with his sword, and the cats escaped. When confronted by the officer, the soldier insisted that the cats had fought so viciously that they had eaten each other, leaving only the tails behind. A more likely explanation, however, is that the cats are allegorical symbols for two rival towns, Kilkenny and Irishtown, which for more than 300 years waged a bitter border dispute. By 1700, both towns were devastated and impoverished. A similar expression is as quarrelsome as Kilkenny cats.

introduce the shoemaker to the tailor To kick someone in the buttocks or rear end; to kick someone in the pants. This euphemism is a British colloquial expression.

knock for a loop See CONFUSION.

knock galley-west To incapacitate, to put someone out of action; to give such a severe blow as to cause unconsciousness; to knock for a loop, to throw off balance, to disorient or confuse. Galley-west is an alteration of the British dialectal colly-west ‘awry, askew.’ This colloquial Americanism dates from the latter part of the 19th century. The phrase is not limited in application to physical combat; it can also apply to mental or emotional disorientation resulting from the debunking of one’s ideas, arguments, or beliefs.

Your verdict has knocked what little [critical penetration] I did have galley-west! (Mark Twain, Letters, 1875)

knock the tar out of To thrash, whale, or beat senseless; also often beat the tar out of. The precise origin of the phrase is unknown. A plausible conjecture says it derives from the former practice of caulking a ship’s bottom with tar, which would require an extremely severe shock or blow to loosen.

lay out in lavender See REPRIMAND.

lead a cat and dog life To fight or bicker constantly; to be contentious, quarrelsome, or argumentative on a regular basis. This expression alludes to the snapping and vicious battling associated with these two animals whenever they encounter each other.

lock horns To enter into conflict; to clash; to contend. Various species of mammals have horns for self-defense, and the reference is probably to the locking of bucks’ horns when they “duel.” The expression suggests a vehement entanglement between two people.

make [someone] see stars To hit someone on the head with such force that he experiences the illusion of brilliant spots of light before his eyes; to knock someone out.

make the fur fly To cause a ruckus or commotion, to create a disturbance, to shake things up; also make the feathers fly. The allusion is to animals or gamecocks engaged in such a violent struggle that they tear out each other’s fur or feathers. Both expressions date from at least the 19th century.

Al Hayman is going to make the fur fly when he gets back from Europe. (New York Dramatic News, July, 1896)

measure swords To fight or do battle either physically or verbally; to compete or contest, to match wits with, to pit one’s strength against. This expression originated when dueling was the gentlemanly method of settling disputes and defending honor. Swords chosen as weapons were measured against each other to guarantee that they were of the same length and that neither party had an advantage. Although measuring swords was originally a preliminary to a duel or fight, by extension it came to mean the fighting itself. The equivalent French expression is mesurer les épées. Shakespeare uses the phrase in As You Like It (V, iv):

And so we measured swords and parted.

pull caps To quarrel and wrangle in an undignified manner. Cap refers to ‘headgear.’

Our lofty Duchesses pull caps, And give each other’s reputation raps.

(Thomas Perronet Thompson, Exercises, Political and Others, 1842)

This obsolete expression dating from the 18th century reputedly applied only to women, although OED citations indicate that men also “pulled caps.”

Men are exhorted to struggle and pull caps. (John Wolcott, Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians, 1785)

take up the hatchet To begin or resume fighting, to prepare for war; also dig up or unbury the hatchet, ax, or tomahawk. To symbolize the resumption of hostilities, North American Indians would dig up war weapons, which had been buried as a sign of good faith when concluding a peace.

Three nations of French Indians … had taken up the hatchet against the English. (George Washington, Daily Journal in 1751-52)

The expression, now obsolete, dates from the late 1600s. See also bury the hatchet, PEACE.

tan [someone’s] hide To whip, beat, or thrash soundly; to knock the tar out of someone. Theoretically, severe, repeated beatings would harden or toughen one’s skin, just as the tanning process does to hide in converting it to leather. The expression has been used in this figurative sense since the 17th century.

wigs on the green A fight, altercation, fracas, fray; a commotion; a difference of opinion that could lead to fisticuffs. This expression stems from the days when British gentlemen wore powdered wigs and often settled differences “in manly fashion” on the public greens. Since their wigs were likely to be pulled off during the pugilistics, wigs on the green became a euphemistic reference to a scuffle or brawl.

Whenever they saw them advancing, they felt that there would be wigs on the green. (Sir Montagu Gerard, Leaves From the Diaries of a Soldier and Sportsman, 1903)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: combated
Gerund: combating

I combat
you combat
he/she/it combats
we combat
you combat
they combat
I combated
you combated
he/she/it combated
we combated
you combated
they combated
Present Continuous
I am combating
you are combating
he/she/it is combating
we are combating
you are combating
they are combating
Present Perfect
I have combated
you have combated
he/she/it has combated
we have combated
you have combated
they have combated
Past Continuous
I was combating
you were combating
he/she/it was combating
we were combating
you were combating
they were combating
Past Perfect
I had combated
you had combated
he/she/it had combated
we had combated
you had combated
they had combated
I will combat
you will combat
he/she/it will combat
we will combat
you will combat
they will combat
Future Perfect
I will have combated
you will have combated
he/she/it will have combated
we will have combated
you will have combated
they will have combated
Future Continuous
I will be combating
you will be combating
he/she/it will be combating
we will be combating
you will be combating
they will be combating
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been combating
you have been combating
he/she/it has been combating
we have been combating
you have been combating
they have been combating
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been combating
you will have been combating
he/she/it will have been combating
we will have been combating
you will have been combating
they will have been combating
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been combating
you had been combating
he/she/it had been combating
we had been combating
you had been combating
they had been combating
I would combat
you would combat
he/she/it would combat
we would combat
you would combat
they would combat
Past Conditional
I would have combated
you would have combated
he/she/it would have combated
we would have combated
you would have combated
they would have combated
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.combat - an engagement fought between two military forcescombat - an engagement fought between two military forces
battle, engagement, fight, conflict - a hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war; "Grant won a decisive victory in the battle of Chickamauga"; "he lost his romantic ideas about war when he got into a real engagement"
hostilities, belligerency - fighting; acts of overt warfare; "the outbreak of hostilities"
trench warfare - a type of armed combat in which the opposing troops fight from trenches that face each other; "instead of the war ending quickly, it became bogged down in trench warfare"
war, warfare - the waging of armed conflict against an enemy; "thousands of people were killed in the war"
aggression - the act of initiating hostilities
armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine - the military forces of a nation; "their military is the largest in the region"; "the military machine is the same one we faced in 1991 but now it is weaker"
2.combat - the act of fightingcombat - the act of fighting; any contest or struggle; "a fight broke out at the hockey game"; "there was fighting in the streets"; "the unhappy couple got into a terrible scrap"
gunfight, gunplay, shootout - a fight involving shooting small arms with the intent to kill or frighten
conflict, struggle, battle - an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals); "the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph"--Thomas Paine; "police tried to control the battle between the pro- and anti-abortion mobs"
encounter, skirmish, clash, brush - a minor short-term fight
close-quarter fighting - hand-to-hand fighting at close quarters
dogfight - a violent fight between dogs (sometimes organized illegally for entertainment and gambling)
fencing - the art or sport of fighting with swords (especially the use of foils or epees or sabres to score points under a set of rules)
in-fighting - conflict between members of the same organization (usually concealed from outsiders)
set-to - a brief but vigorous fight
shock, impact - the violent interaction of individuals or groups entering into combat; "the armies met in the shock of battle"
rough-and-tumble, scuffle, tussle, dogfight, hassle - disorderly fighting
affaire d'honneur, duel - a prearranged fight with deadly weapons by two people (accompanied by seconds) in order to settle a quarrel over a point of honor
blow - a powerful stroke with the fist or a weapon; "a blow on the head"
fistfight, fisticuffs, slugfest - a fight with bare fists
battering, banging - the act of subjecting to strong attack
beating, whipping - the act of overcoming or outdoing
fray, affray, ruffle, disturbance - a noisy fight
free-for-all, brawl - a noisy fight in a crowd
cut-and-thrust, knife fight, snickersnee - fighting with knives
gang fight, rumble - a fight between rival gangs of adolescents
single combat - a fight between two people; "in all armies there were officers who needed to prove their bravery by single combat"
Verb1.combat - battle or contend against in or as if in a battlecombat - battle or contend against in or as if in a battle; "The Kurds are combating Iraqi troops in Northern Iraq"; "We must combat the prejudices against other races"; "they battled over the budget"
fight, struggle, contend - be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight; "the tribesmen fought each other"; "Siblings are always fighting"; "Militant groups are contending for control of the country"
dogfight - engage in an aerial battle with another fighter plane
wrestle - combat to overcome an opposing tendency or force; "He wrestled all his life with his feeling of inferiority"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. fight, war, action, battle, conflict, engagement, warfare, skirmish Over 16 million men died in combat during the war.
fight peace, agreement, surrender, truce, armistice
1. fight, battle against, oppose, contest, engage, cope with, resist, defy, withstand, struggle against, contend with, do battle with, strive against new government measures to combat crime
fight support, accept, give up on, surrender to, make peace with, acquiesce with, declare a truce with
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


To strive in opposition:
A hostile encounter between opposing military forces:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
يُعارِض، يُقاوِميُقاتِل، يُحارِب
bojbojovat proti
bardagiberjast gegn
karyskovoti sukovotojaspriešintis


A. Ncombate m
B. VT (fig) → combatir, luchar contra
C. CPD combat duty Nservicio m de frente
combat jacket Nguerrera f
combat troops NPLtropas fpl de combate
combat zone Nzona f de combate
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(= battle) → combat m
(= struggle) → combat m
modif [aircraft, troops, missions] → de combat
vt [+ terrorism, racism, crime] → combattre, lutter contre
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nKampf m; ready for combatkampfbereit, einsatzbereit
vt (lit, fig)bekämpfen


combat dress
nKampfanzug m
combat fatigue
nKriegsmüdigkeit f


combat jacket
nFeldjacke f, → Kampfjacke f
combat knife
nKampfmesser nt
combat mission
nKampfeinsatz m
combat plane
nKampfflugzeug nt
pl (inf)Tarnhose f, → Kampfhose f
combat troops
plKampftruppen pl
combat trousers
pl (Brit) → Tarnhose f, → Kampfhose f
combat unit
n (esp US) → Kampfverband m, → Kampfeinheit f
combat zone
nKampfgebiet ntor -zone f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. nlotta, combattimento (Mil) → combattimento
2. vt (fig) → combattere, lottare contro
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈkombӕt) , ((American) kəmˈbat) noun
(an act of) fighting. The two knights met each other in single combat.
to fight against; to oppose. The residents of the town tried to combat the government's plans to build a motorway.
combatant (ˈkombətənt) , ((American) kəmˈbӕtənt) noun
a person who is fighting. They eventually separated the combatants.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n. combate, lucha;
vt. combatir.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n combate m; vt combatir; to combat cancer..combatir el cáncer
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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31 (SUNA) -- The Public Prosecution affirmed that Sudan has made wide strides in the compatibility of its legislations with the agreements and protocols relating to the combat of terrorism, stressing that the Act for Combating Terrorism for the year 2001 was precisely formulated to guarantee the principle of justice and realizing the law objectives.
Technological advancement in combat management systems ameliorates the efficiency and essence of defence combating ability.
The conference, organised by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), in co-operation with the Qatar's Ministry of Interior and the National Committee against Trafficking in Human Beings, aims to develop skills to develop a precise and sophisticated definition of the concepts of human trafficking and how to identify victims, the means and tools used by trafficking gangs, to co-ordinate the local and international efforts, exchange information in combating the phenomenon, as well as to train individuals and institutions concerned on how to provide legal, humanitarian and economic assistance, and to co-ordinate and develop awareness campaigns in combating this phenomenon.
'There is an urgent need to increase the said benefits to improve the living conditions of the men in uniform who are engaged in combating threats to national security and public peace and order,' said Mr.
Deputy Michel Aoun met this morning with delegations representing more than 30 Lebanese associations and institutions responsible for combating drug dealing, who visited him at his Rabieh residence today.