Combat is fighting between two groups of armed forces. When you engage in combat, typically this means you engage in fighting that involves weapons.

Combat comes from the Latin com- meaning "together with" and battere meaning "to fight." Combat can be used as a modifier; for example, a combat zone is an area where fighting is taking place. The word combat can also be used to refer to the action of fighting against something to prevent it. An after-school program for kids is working to combat the issue of street violence by creating a safe space where kids can go as an alternative.

Definitions of combat

n the act of fighting; any contest or struggle

fight, fighting, scrap
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gunfight, gunplay, shootout
a fight involving shooting small arms with the intent to kill or frighten
brush, clash, encounter, skirmish
a minor short-term fight
close-quarter fighting
hand-to-hand fighting at close quarters
a violent fight between dogs (sometimes organized illegally for entertainment and gambling)
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)
conflict between members of the same organization (usually concealed from outsiders)
a brief but vigorous fight
impact, shock
the violent interaction of individuals or groups entering into combat
dogfight, hassle, rough-and-tumble, scuffle, tussle
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
fistfight, fisticuffs, slugfest
a fight with bare fists
banging, battering
the act of subjecting to strong attack
beating, whipping
the act of overcoming or outdoing
affray, disturbance, fray, ruffle
a noisy fight
brawl, free-for-all
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
an awkward clash
a fistfight
Type of:
battle, conflict, struggle
an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals)

n an engagement fought between two military forces

armed combat
belligerency, hostilities
fighting; acts of overt warfare
trench warfare
a type of armed combat in which the opposing troops fight from trenches that face each other
the act of initiating hostilities
Type of:
battle, conflict, engagement, fight
a hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war

v 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”
engage in an aerial battle with another fighter plane
combat to overcome an opposing tendency or force
Type of:
contend, fight, struggle
be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight

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