1. a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing military forces: the battle of Waterloo.
  2. participation in such hostile encounters or engagements: wounds received in battle.
  3. a fight between two persons or animals: ordering a trial by battle to settle the dispute.
  4. any conflict or struggle: a battle for control of the Senate.
  5. Archaic. a battalion.

verb (used without object), bat·tled, bat·tling.

  1. to engage in battle: ready to battle with the enemy.
  2. to work very hard or struggle; strive: to battle for freedom.

verb (used with object), bat·tled, bat·tling.

  1. to fight (a person, army, cause, etc.): We battled strong winds and heavy rains in our small boat.
  2. to force or accomplish by fighting, struggling, etc.: He battled his way to the top of his profession.

  1. give/do battle, to enter into conflict; fight: He was ready to do battle for his beliefs.


  1. a fight between large armed forces; military or naval engagement; combat
  2. conflict; contention; strugglehis battle for recognition
  3. do battle, give battle or join battle to start fighting


  1. (when intr , often foll by against, for, or with) to fight in or as if in military combat; contend (with)she battled against cancer
  2. to struggle in order to achieve something or arrive somewherehe battled through the crowd
  3. (intr) Australian to scrape a living, esp by doing odd jobs


  1. a town in SE England, in East Sussex: site of the Battle of Hastings (1066); medieval abbey. Pop: 5190 (2001)


  1. Kathleen . born 1948, US opera singer: a coloratura soprano, she made her professional debut in 1972 and sang with New York City’s Metropolitan Opera (1977–94)

early 14c., “to fight,” from French batailler (12c.), from bataille (see battle (n.)). Related: Battled; battling.


c.1300, from Old French bataille “battle, single combat,” also “inner turmoil, harsh circumstances; army, body of soldiers,” from Late Latin battualia “exercise of soldiers and gladiators in fighting and fencing,” from Latin battuere “to beat, to strike” (see batter (v.)). Phrase battle royal “fight involving several combatants” is from 1670s.

see half the battle; losing battle; pitched battle.

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