Definitions

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

  • n. An encounter between opposing forces: an important battle in the Pacific campaign.
  • n. Armed fighting; combat: wounded in battle.
  • n. A match between two combatants: trial by battle.
  • n. A protracted controversy or struggle: won the battle of the budget.
  • n. An intense competition: a battle of wits.
  • intransitive v. To engage in or as if in battle.
  • transitive v. To fight against: battled the enemy; battled cancer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. (agriculture) Improving; nutritious; fattening.
  • adj. Fertile; fruitful.
  • v. To nourish; feed.
  • v. To render fertile or fruitful, as in soil.
  • n. A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the divisions of an army are or may be engaged; an engagement; a combat.
  • n. A struggle; a contest.
  • n. A division of an army; a battalion.
  • n. The main body, as distinct from the vanguard and rear; battalia.
  • v. To join in battle; to contend in fight; as, to battle over theories.
  • v. To assail in battle; to fight.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Fertile. See battel, a.
  • n. A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the divisions of an army are or may be engaged; an engagement; a combat.
  • n. A struggle; a contest.
  • n. A division of an army; a battalion.
  • n. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear; battalia.
  • intransitive v. To join in battle; to contend in fight.
  • transitive v. To assail in battle; to fight.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fight, hostile encounter, or engagement between opposing forces on land or sea; an important and systematic engagement between independent armies or fleets.
  • n. An encounter between two persons; a duel or single combat.
  • n. A fight or encounter between animals, especially when pitted against each other for the amusement of spectators.
  • n. Warfare; hostile action; actual conflict with enemies: as, wounds received or honors gained in battle.
  • n. Any contest or conflict; struggle for mastery or victory: as, the battle of life.
  • n. An army prepared for or engaged in fight.
  • n. A body of forces, or division of an army; a battalion.
  • n. More specifically— The main or middle body of an army or fleet, as distinguished from the van and rear.
  • n. That portion of the army, wherever placed and of whatever consisting, which is regarded as of main importance.
  • n. A formidable array similar to an army in battle order.
  • n. A fight of game-cocks, in which more than two are engaged.
  • n. Synonyms Battle, Engagement, Conflict, Fight, Combat, Contest, Action. Battle is a general term, and the most common. It is the appropriate word for great engagements: as, the battle of Waterloo. A battle may last merely a few hours or for days: as, the battle of Gettysburg lasted three days. Engagement is in technical military usage practically equivalent to battle, but it is a less forcible word. Conflict, literally, a clashing together, is a strong word, implying fierce physical encounter. Fight has the energy of a monosyllable; it denotes actual conflict. A man may take part in a battle without actually fighting. A battle may include many fights: as, the fight at the flag-staff in the battle of the Alma; or it may itself be described as a fight. Combat, like conflict, is a word of more dignity than fight; it is by its history suggestive of a struggle between two, as persons, animals, squadrons, armies. Contest is a very general word, of uncertain strength, but often joined with a strong adjective: as, a stubborn contest. An action is a minor or incidental act of war, a single act of fighting: as, the whole action lasted but an hour. All these words apply equally to operations by land or by sea. See encounter and strife.
  • To join or engage in battle; contend in fight; fight: as, to battle with wolves.
  • To struggle; contend; strive for mastery: either absolutely or with for, with, or against: as, to battle with the winds; to battle for freedom, or against adversity; to battle with ignorance.
  • To embattle; put into battle array.
  • To fight for.
  • To give battle to; fight against; contend with; fight.
  • To furnish or strengthen with battlements; embattle.
  • In agriculture: Improving; nutritious; fattening: as, battle grass; battle pasture. Fertile; fruitful: as, battle soil; battle land.
  • To nourish; feed.
  • To render fertile or fruitful, as the soil.
  • To grow fat; thrive.
  • To become fertile or fruitful, as soil.
  • See battel.
  • To beat (clothes) with a battler or beetle in washing.

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

  • v. battle or contend against in or as if in a battle
  • n. an energetic attempt to achieve something
  • n. an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals)
  • n. a hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war

Etymologies

Middle English batel, from Old French bataille, from Vulgar Latin *battālia, from Late Latin battuālia, fighting and fencing exercises, from Latin battuere, to beat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Early Modern English batell, probably from Middle English *batel ("flourishing"), from Old English *batol ("improving, tending to be good"), from batian ("to get better, improve"), from Proto-Germanic *batōnan, *bōtijanan (“to improve, atone, be favourable”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰAd- (“good”) +‎ -le. Related to North Frisian bate, baatsje ("to get better"), Dutch baten ("to benefit, avail, profit"), Low German batten ("to be sly"). Compare batten ("to improve, become better, fatten, flourish"). More at better. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English batel, from Old French bataille, from Vulgar Latin *battālia, from Late Latin battuālia ("fighting and fencing exercises"), from Latin battuō ("to strike, beat"), from Gaulish (compare Welsh bathu ("to strike money, coin, mint")), from Proto-Indo-European *bhau(t)- ‘to knock’ (compare Latin fatuus ("silly, knocked silly"), Gothic 𐌱𐌰𐌿𐌸𐍃 (bauþs, "deaf, numb, dumbstruck")). (Wiktionary)

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