fight

When you fight, you dispute or argue. Everyone disagrees from time to time, but it's sad when close friends fight.

The verb fight means to engage in a struggle that involves conflict — and as a noun, fight is the conflict itself. A fight can take a physical form, like a boxing match or a playground skirmish, or it can happen with words, like a fight over politics. The ancient root of fight comes from the Proto-Indo-European prefix pek, meaning "to pluck out." Picture a hair-pulling fight, and this makes complete sense.

Definitions of fight
1

v be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight

“the tribesmen fought each other”
“Siblings are always fighting
Synonyms:
contend, struggle
Types:
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bear down
exert full strength
fistfight
fight with the fists
join battle
engage in a conflict
tug
struggle in opposition
defend, fight back, fight down, oppose
fight against or resist strongly
get back, settle
get one's revenge for a wrong or an injury
fight back
defend oneself
battle, combat
battle or contend against in or as if in a battle
war
make or wage war
assail, attack
launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with
duel
fight a duel, as over one's honor or a woman
joust
joust against somebody in a tournament by fighting on horseback
chicken-fight, chickenfight
fight while sitting on somebody's shoulders
tourney
engage in a tourney
feud
carry out a feud
skirmish
engage in a skirmish
bandy
exchange blows
fence
fight with fencing swords
box
engage in a boxing match
spar
fight with spurs
scuffle, tussle
fight or struggle in a confused way at close quarters
wrestle
engage in a wrestling match
engage, wage
carry on (wars, battles, or campaigns)
recalcitrate
show strong objection or repugnance; manifest vigorous opposition or resistance; be obstinately disobedient
dogfight
engage in an aerial battle with another fighter plane
wrestle
combat to overcome an opposing tendency or force
blitzkrieg
fight a quick and surprising war
go to war, take arms, take up arms
commence hostilities
fend, resist, stand
withstand the force of something
hold out, resist, stand firm, withstand
stand up or offer resistance to somebody or something
submarine
attack by submarine
pelt, pepper
attack and bombard with or as if with missiles
tilt
charge with a tilt
hit, strike
make a strategic, offensive, assault against an enemy, opponent, or a target
counterattack, counterstrike
make a counterattack
gas
attack with gas; subject to gas fumes
storm, surprise
attack by storm; attack suddenly
blitz
attack suddenly and without warning
invade, occupy
march aggressively into another's territory by military force for the purposes of conquest and occupation
beleaguer, besiege, circumvent, hem in, surround
surround so as to force to give up
drive back, fight off, rebuff, repel, repulse
force or drive back
bomb, bombard
throw bombs at or attack with bombs
strafe
attack with machine guns or cannon fire from a low-flying plane
cannonade
attack with cannons or artillery
torpedo
attack or hit with torpedoes
block, deflect, parry
impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)
spar
box lightly
prizefight
box for a prize or money
shadowbox
go through boxing motions without an opponent
mud-wrestle, mudwrestle
wrestle in mud
offer, provide, put up
mount or put up
bust, raid
search without warning, make a sudden surprise attack on

v fight against or resist strongly

“Don't fight it!”
Synonyms:
defend, fight back, fight down, oppose
Types:
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recalcitrate
show strong objection or repugnance; manifest vigorous opposition or resistance; be obstinately disobedient
fend, resist, stand
withstand the force of something
hold out, resist, stand firm, withstand
stand up or offer resistance to somebody or something
drive back, fight off, rebuff, repel, repulse
force or drive back
stand out
be stubborn in resolution or resistance
stand up
refuse to back down; remain solid under criticism or attack
outbrave
resist bravely
hold off
resist and fight to a standoff
remain firm, stand
hold one's ground; maintain a position; be steadfast or upright
defy, hold, hold up, withstand
resist or confront with resistance
Type of:
contend, struggle
be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight

v make a strenuous or labored effort

“He fought for breath”
Synonyms:
struggle
Types:
drive, labor, labour, push, tug
strive and make an effort to reach a goal
flounder
behave awkwardly; have difficulties
reach, strain, strive
to exert much effort or energy
Type of:
assay, attempt, essay, seek, try
make an effort or attempt

v exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end or engage in a crusade for a certain cause or person; be an advocate for

Synonyms:
agitate, campaign, crusade, press, push
advertise, advertize, promote, push
make publicity for; try to sell (a product)
Type of:
advertise, advertize, promote, push
make publicity for; try to sell (a product)

n the act of fighting; any contest or struggle

“a fight broke out at the hockey game”
“there was fighting in the streets”
Synonyms:
combat, fighting, scrap
Types:
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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
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
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
contretemps
an awkward clash
punch-up
a fistfight
Type of:
battle, conflict, struggle
an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals)

n a boxing or wrestling match

“the fight was on television last night”
Type of:
boxing, fisticuffs, pugilism
fighting with the fists

n an intense verbal dispute

“a violent fight over the bill is expected in the Senate”
Type of:
arguing, argument, contention, contestation, controversy, disceptation, disputation, tilt
a contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement

n a hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war

Synonyms:
battle, conflict, engagement
Examples:
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Battle of Britain
the prolonged bombardment of British cities by the German Luftwaffe during World War II and the aerial combat that accompanied it
Drogheda
in 1649 the place was captured by Oliver Cromwell, who massacred the Catholic inhabitants
Actium
the naval battle in which Antony and Cleopatra were defeated by Octavian's fleet under Agrippa in 31 BC
Aegadean Isles
islands west of Sicily (now known as the Egadi Islands) where the Romans won a naval victory over the Carthaginians that ended the first Punic War in 241 BC
Aegospotamos
a river in ancient Thrace (now Turkey); in the mouth of this river the Spartan fleet under Lysander destroyed the Athenian fleet in the final battle of the Peloponnesian War (404 BC)
Agincourt
a battle in northern France in which English longbowmen under Henry V decisively defeated a much larger French army in 1415
battle of Austerlitz
a decisive battle during the Napoleonic campaigns (1805); the French under Napoleon defeated the Russian armies of Czar Alexander I and the Austrian armies of Emperor Francis II
Bannockburn
a battle in which the Scots under Robert the Bruce defeated the English and assured the independence of Scotland
Battle of Kerbala
a battle in 680 in which the grandson of Mohammed and his followers were killed
Battle of the Ardennes Bulge
a battle during World War II; in December 1944 von Rundstedt launched a powerful counteroffensive in the forest at Ardennes and caught the Allies by surprise
Battle of the Marne
a World War I battle in northwestern France where the Allies defeated the Germans in 1918
battle of the Bismarck Sea
a naval battle in World War II; Allied land-based bombers destroyed a Japanese convoy in the Bismarck Sea in March 1943
Blenheim
the First Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy defeated the French in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession
Borodino
Napoleon defeated the Russians in 1812 in a pitched battle at a village in western Russia west of Moscow, but irreparably weakened his army
Bosworth Field
the battle that ended the Wars of the Roses (1485); Richard III was killed and Henry Tudor was crowned as Henry VII
Bouvines
in 1214 the French under Philip Augustus defeated a coalition formed against him in one of the greatest battles of the middle ages
battle of Boyne
a battle in the War of the Grand Alliance in Ireland in 1690; William III defeated the deposed James II and so ended the Catholicism that had been reintroduced in England by the Stuarts
battle of Brunanburh
a battle in 937 when Athelstan defeated the Scots
Buena Vista
a pitched battle in the Mexican War in 1847; United States forces under Zachary Taylor defeated the Mexican forces under Santa Anna at a locality in northern Mexico
Battle of Bull Run
either of two battles during the American Civil War (1861 and 1862); Confederate forces defeated the Federal army in both battles
battle of Bunker Hill
the first important battle of the American War of Independence (1775) which was fought at Breed's Hill; the British defeated the colonial forces
Cannae
ancient city is southeastern Italy where Hannibal defeated the Romans in 216 BC
battle of Caporetto
battle of World War I (1917); Italians were defeated by the Austrian and German forces
Caudine Forks
a battle in the Apennines in 321 BC in which the Samnites defeated the Romans
Chaeronea
a battle in which Philip II of Macedon defeated the Athenians and Thebans (338 BC) and also Sulla defeated Mithridates (86 BC)
Chalons-sur-Marne
the battle in which Attila the Hun was defeated by the Romans and Visigoths in 451
Chancellorsville
a major battle in the American Civil War (1863); the Confederates under Robert E. Lee defeated the Union forces under Joseph Hooker
Chapultepec
a pitched battle in the Mexican War that resulted in a major victory for American forces over Mexican forces at a locality south of Mexico City (1847)
battle of Chattanooga
in the American Civil War (1863) the Union armies of Hooker, Thomas, and Sherman under the command of Ulysses S. Grant won a decisive victory over the Confederate Army under Braxton Bragg
battle of Chickamauga
a Confederate victory in the American Civil War (1863); Confederate forces under Braxton Bragg defeated Union forces
battle of the Coral Sea
a Japanese defeat in World War II (May 1942); the first naval battle fought entirely by planes based on aircraft carriers
battle of Cowpens
battle in the American Revolution; Americans under Daniel Morgan defeated the British
battle of Crecy
the first decisive battle of the Hundred Years' War; in 1346 the English under Edward III defeated the French under Philip of Valois
battle of Cunaxa
battle in 401 BC when the Artaxerxes II defeated his younger brother who tried to usurp the throne
battle of Cynoscephalae
the battle that ended the second Macedonian War (197 BC); the Romans defeated Philip V who lost his control of Greece
Battle of El Alamein
a pitched battle in World War II (1942) resulting in a decisive Allied victory by British troops under Montgomery over German troops under Rommel
Battle of Flodden Field
a battle in 1513; the English defeated the invading Scots and James IV was killed
Battle of Fontenoy
a battle in 1745 in which the French army under Marshal Saxe defeated the English army and their allies under the duke of Cumberland
Fort Ticonderoga
a pitched battle in which American revolutionary troops captured Fort Ticonderoga from the British in 1775
Battle of Fredericksburg
an important battle in the American Civil War (1862); the Union Army under A. E. Burnside was defeated by the Confederate Army under Robert E. Lee
Battle of Gettysburg
a battle of the American Civil War (1863); the defeat of Robert E. Lee's invading Confederate Army was a major victory for the Union
Battle of Granicus River
the battle in which Alexander won his first major victory against the Persians (334 BC)
Battle of Guadalcanal
a battle in World War II in the Pacific (1942-1943); the island was occupied by the Japanese and later recaptured by American forces
Hampton Roads
a naval battle of the American Civil War (1862); the indecisive battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac
battle of Hastings
the decisive battle in which William the Conqueror (duke of Normandy) defeated the Saxons under Harold II (1066) and thus left England open for the Norman Conquest
battle of Hohenlinden
a battle during the Napoleonic Wars (1800); the French defeated the Austrians
battle of Ipsus
a battle between the successors of Alexander the Great (301 BC); Lysimachus and Seleucus defeated Antigonus and Demetrius
battle of Issus
a battle (333 BC) in which Alexander the Great defeated the Persians under Darius III
Ivry la Bataille
a battle (1590) in which the Huguenots under Henry IV defeated the Catholics under the duke of Mayenne
Battle of Jena
the battle in 1806 in which Napoleon decisively defeated the Prussians
battle of Jutland
an indecisive naval battle in World War I (1916); fought between the British and German fleets off the northwestern coast of Denmark
Kennesaw Mountain
battle of the American Civil War (1864); Union forces under William Tecumseh Sherman were repulsed by Confederate troops under Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
a battle in 217 BC in which Hannibal ambushed a Roman army led by Flaminius
battle of Langside
(1568) Catholic forces supporting Mary Queen of Scots were routed by Protestants
Battle of Lepanto
Turkish sea power was destroyed in 1571 by a league of Christian nations organized by the Pope
battle of Leuctra
Thebes defeated Sparta in 371 BC; the battle ended Sparta's military supremacy in Greece
Lexington and Concord
the first battle of the American Revolution (April 19, 1775)
battle of Lule Burgas
the principal battle of the Balkan Wars (1912); Bulgarian forces defeated the Turks
battle of Lutzen
a battle in the Thirty Years' War (1632); Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeated the Holy Roman Empire under Wallenstein; Gustavus Adolphus was killed
Battle of Magenta
a battle in 1859 in which the French and Sardinian forces under Napoleon III defeated the Austrians under Francis Joseph I
Battle of Maldon
a battle in which the Danes defeated the Saxons in 991; celebrated in an old English poem
Manila Bay
a naval battle in the Spanish-American War (1898); the American fleet under Admiral Dewey defeated the Spanish fleet
Mantineia
the site of three famous battles among Greek city-states: in 418 BC and 362 BC and 207 BC
battle of Marathon
a battle in 490 BC in which the Athenians and their allies defeated the Persians
Marengo
a battle in 1800 in which the French under Napoleon Bonaparte won a great victory over the Austrians
battle of Marston Moor
a battle in 1644 in which the Parliamentarians under the earl of Manchester defeated the Royalists under Prince Rupert
Metaurus River
a battle during the second Punic War (207 BC); Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal was defeated by the Romans which ended Hannibal's hopes for success in Italy
Battle of Midway
naval battle of World War II (June 1942); American planes based on land and on carriers decisively defeated a Japanese fleet on its way to invade the Midway Islands
battle of Minden
a battle in the Seven Years' War (1759) in which the English forces and their allies defeated the French
Battle of Monmouth Court House
a pitched battle in New Jersey during the American Revolution (1778) that ended with the withdrawal of British forces
Battle of Naseby
a battle in 1645 that settled the outcome of the first English Civil War as the Parliamentarians won a major victory over the Royalists
battle of Navarino
a decisive naval battle in the War of Greek Independence (1827); the Turkish and Egyptian fleet was defeated by an allied fleet of British and French and Russian warships
battle of Omdurman
a battle (1898) in which an English and Egyptian army under Kitchener defeated the Sudanese
battle of Panipat
battle in which the ruler of Afghanistan defeated the Mahrattas in 1761
Cape Passero
a naval battle in the Mediterranean Sea off Cape Passero in which the Spanish navy was destroyed by France and England while attempting to recover Sicily and Sardinia from Italy (1719)
battle of Pharsalus
Caesar defeated Pompey in 48 BC
battle of Philippi
Octavian and Mark Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC
battle of the Philippine Sea
a naval battle in World War II (1944); a decisive naval victory for the United States fleet over the Japanese who were trying to block supplies from reaching American troops on Leyte
battle of Plassey
the victory in 1757 by the British under Clive over Siraj-ud-daula that established British supremacy over Bengal
battle of Plataea
a defeat of the Persian army by the Greeks at Plataea in 479 BC
battle of Poitiers
the battle in 1356 in which the English under the Black Prince defeated the French
Port Arthur
a battle in the Chino-Japanese War (1894); Japanese captured the port and fortifications from the Chinese
Battle of Puebla
a battle in which Mexican forces defeated the French in 1862
Battle of Pydna
a major victory by the Romans over the Macedonians in 168 BC; resulted in the downfall of the ancient Macedonian kingdom
Battle of Ravenna
a battle between the French and an alliance of Spaniards and Swiss and Venetians in 1512
Battle of Rocroi
a battle in the Thirty Years' War (1643); the French defeated the Spanish invaders
battle of Rossbach
a battle in the Seven Years' War (1757); Prussian forces under Frederick the Great defeated the armies of France and Austria
battle of St Mihiel
a battle in the Meuse-Argonne operation in World War I (1918); the battle in which American troops launched their first offensive in France
Santiago de Cuba
a naval battle in the Spanish-American War (1898); the United States fleet bottled up the Spanish ships in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba and destroyed them when they tried to escape
battle of Saratoga
a battle during the American Revolution (1777); the British under Burgoyne were defeated
battle of Sempatch
the Swiss Confederation escaped Hapsburg domination by their victory in 1386
battle of Pittsburgh Landing
the second great battle of the American Civil War (1862); the battle ended with the withdrawal of Confederate troops but it was not a Union victory
battle of the Chemin-des-Dames
a battle in World War I (May 1918); the Germans tried to attack before the American numbers were too great to defeat; the tactical success of the Germans proved to be a strategic failure
battle of Solferino
an indecisive battle in 1859 between the French and Sardinians under Napoleon III and the Austrians under Francis Joseph I
Battle of the Somme
battle in World War I (1916)
Battle of the Somme
battle of World War II (1944)
Battle of the Spanish Armada
in the English Channel a small fleet of British ships successfully defeated the large armada sent from Spain by Philip II to invade England
battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse
a battle between the armies of Grant and Lee during the Wilderness Campaign
battle of Tannenberg
a battle in World War I (1914); decisive German victory over the Russians
battle of Tertry
a battle in France in 687 among the descendants of Clovis
battle of Teutoburger Wald
a battle in 9 AD in which the Germans under Arminius annihilated three Roman Legions
battle of Tewkesbury
the final battle of the War of the Roses in 1471 in which Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians
battle of Thermopylae
a famous battle in 480 BC; a Greek army under Leonidas was annihilated by the Persians who were trying to conquer Greece
battle of Trafalgar
a naval battle in 1805 off the southwest coast of Spain; the French and Spanish fleets were defeated by the English under Nelson (who was mortally wounded)
battle of Trasimeno
a battle in central Italy where Hannibal defeated the Romans under Flaminius in 217 BC
Tsushima
a naval battle in the Russo-Japanese War (1905); the Japanese fleet defeated the Russian fleet in the Korean Strait
battle of Valmy
the French defeated the Austrian and Prussian troops in 1792 (with a famous cannonade from the French artillery)
battle of Verdun
a battle in World War I (1916); in some of the bloodiest fighting in World War I the German offensive was stopped
battle of Wagram
a battle in the Napoleonic campaigns (1809); Napoleon defeated the Austrians
Battle of Waterloo
the battle on 18 June 1815 in which Prussian and British forces under Blucher and the Duke of Wellington routed the French forces under Napoleon
Yalu River
a battle in the Korean War (November 1950); when UN troops advanced north to the Yalu River 200,000 Chinese troops crossed the river and drove them back
first battle of Ypres
battle in World War I (1914); heavy but indecisive fighting as the Allies and the Germans both tried to break through the lines of the others
second battle of Ypres
battle in World War I (1915); Germans wanted to try chlorine (a toxic yellow gas) as a weapon and succeeded in taking considerable territory from the Allied salient
third battle of Ypres
battle in World War I (1917); an Allied offensive which eventually failed because tanks bogged down in the waterlogged soil of Flanders; Germans introduced mustard gas which interfered with the Allied artillery
battle of Zama
the battle in 202 BC in which Scipio decisively defeated Hannibal at the end of the second Punic War
Types:
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Armageddon
any catastrophically destructive battle
pitched battle
a fierce battle fought in close combat between troops in predetermined positions at a chosen time and place
naval battle
a pitched battle between naval fleets
armed combat, combat
an engagement fought between two military forces
dogfight
an aerial engagement between fighter planes
assault
close fighting during the culmination of a military attack
resisting arrest
physical efforts to oppose a lawful arrest; the resistance is classified as assault and battery upon the person of the police officer attempting to make the arrest
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
storm
a direct and violent assault on a stronghold
aggression
the act of initiating hostilities
Type of:
action, military action
a military engagement

n an aggressive willingness to compete

“the team was full of fight
Synonyms:
competitiveness
Type of:
aggressiveness
the quality of being bold and enterprising

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