Definition of combatant

Definition of combatant from Dictionary.com, the world’s leading online source for English definitions, pronunciations, word origins, idioms, Word of the Day, and more.

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What does

combatant

mean?

A

combatant

is one of the sides engaged in

combat

—active fighting.

In war, enemy

combatants

are the opposing sides in the war or battle.

In boxing and other martial arts, the two fighters can be called

combatants.

The word

combat

is sometimes used more broadly or

figuratively

to refer to active conflict between two people or groups, as in

The two corporations are preparing to do combat in the courtroom.

The sides in this kind of combat can also be called

combatants.

Less commonly,

combatant

can be used as an adjective meaning engaged in fighting. It can also mean inclined to fight, but the word


combative


is more commonly used in this way.

Example:

If diplomacy fails, the two nations could become enemy combatants.


Where does

combatant

come from?

The first records of the word

combatant

come from the 1400s. It comes from the Late Latin

combattere,

from


com-

,

meaning “with” or “together,” and the Latin verb

battuere,

meaning “to strike” or “to beat.” The word

battle

is based on this same root. The suffix


-ant


is used to form nouns.

Just like there can’t be a battle without at least two sides, a person or group really can’t be considered a

combatant

unless they are engaged in combat with another

combatant.

The word is most often associated with physical fighting. Even when the word is used in a figurative way, it often likens the sides in the conflict to physical fighters, implying that the conflict is an intense one.


Did you know … ?


What are some other forms related to

combatant

?


combat

(noun, verb)


What are some synonyms for

combatant

?


What are some words that share a root or word element with

combatant

?


combative


What are some words that often get used in discussing

combatant

?


How is

combatant

used in real life?


Combatant

is most commonly used in a military context, but it can be used in many other contexts involving some kind of conflict.


Try using

combatant

!


Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of

combatant

?

A. adversary

B. ally

C. foe

D. fighter

1 2 3

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