Definition of combatant in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəmˈbatnt/
Pronunciation: /ˈkämbədənt/


1A person or nation engaged in fighting during a war.
Example sentences
  • Such unit cohesion in turn creates strong incentives to continue fighting when engaged in combat, because the combatant ultimately will fight in order to not let the other members of his unit down.
  • Commanders must distinguish civilians and civilian objects from combatants and military objects under the principle of discrimination.
  • Since such a war is more destructive to the civilian population than to the combatants, the militias have little incentive to opt for a peace that does not favor their corporate agenda.
1.1A person engaged in conflict or competition with another.
Example sentences
  • The degree of physical risk to players may be less, but they are still combatants competing physically and with barely contained hostility in an arena for the entertainment of the masses.
  • He'd deliberately mixed old thinkers with new, combatants with in-house competitors, to see what sort of creative options they might come up with.
  • But then again luck plays a part in any finals campaign and who knows what lady luck will bring for any of the four combatants left in the competition.


Engaged in fighting during a war: all the combatant armies went to war with machine guns
More example sentences
  • Submarines also engaged enemy combatant ships and auxiliary vessels, pursuing combat operations in assumed or reconnoitered combat designation areas of enemy task forces and on their deployment routes.
  • Every combatant commander in the Army keeps a keen eye out for tools that provide real-time situational awareness.
  • The right to participate in hostilities provides them with two important rights on capture: POW status and combatant immunity.
warring, at war, opposing, belligerent, fighting, battling


Late Middle English (as an adjective used in heraldry to describe two lions facing one another with raised forepaws): from Old French, present participle of combatre 'to fight' (see combat).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·bat·ant

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