Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A prearranged, formal combat between two persons, usually fought to settle a point of honor.
  • n. A struggle for domination between two contending persons, groups, or ideas.
  • transitive v. To engage (another) in or as if in formal combat.
  • transitive v. To oppose actively and forcefully.
  • intransitive v. To engage in or as if in formal combat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Arranged, regular combat between two private persons, often over a matter of honor.
  • n. Historically, the wager of battle (judicial combat)
  • n. Any struggle between two contending persons, groups or ideas.
  • v. To engage in a duel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A combat between two persons, fought with deadly weapons, by agreement. It usually arises from an injury done or an affront given by one to the other.
  • v. To fight in single combat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A single combat; specifically, a premeditated and prearranged combat between two persons with deadly weapons, and usually in the presence of at least two witnesses, called seconds, for the purpose of deciding a quarrel, avenging an insult, or clearing the honor of one of the combatants, or of some third party whose cause he champions.
  • n. Any fight or contest between two parties; especially, a military contest between parties representing the same arm of the service.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a prearranged fight with deadly weapons by two people (accompanied by seconds) in order to settle a quarrel over a point of honor
  • n. any struggle between two skillful opponents (individuals or groups)
  • v. fight a duel, as over one's honor or a woman

Etymologies

Middle English duelle, from Medieval Latin duellum, from Latin, war, archaic variant of bellum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin duellum ("fight between two men"), under influence from Latin duo, from Old Latin duellum (whence Latin bellum ("war")), from Proto-Indo-European *dāu-, *deu- (“to injure, destroy, burn”). (Wiktionary)

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