Definition of battle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbadl/


1A sustained fight between large, organized armed forces: [in names]: the Battle of Shiloh he died in battle
More example sentences
  • Hymns and prayers were said in memory of those who died in battle and those who fought and survived.
  • He enjoyed wars and was the first prime minister since the duke of Wellington to have fought in battle.
  • Sovereignty was a figure for all those brave soldiers who fought and died in battle.
fight, armed conflict, clash, struggle, skirmish, engagement, fray, duel;
war, campaign, crusade;
fighting, warfare, combat, action, hostilities;
informal scrap, dogfight, shoot-out
1.1A lengthy and difficult conflict or struggle: the battle over the future shape of Europe the battle against aging
More example sentences
  • The pair had been embroiled in lengthy legal battles over Daniel, but had reached a shared custody agreement on his care before Kevin's death.
  • One of the most difficult battles waged by these women has been against Public Works Department contractors.
  • Allison and Kevin had, following lengthy legal battles, reached a shared custody agreement on Daniel's care.
conflict, clash, contest, competition, struggle, turf war;
disagreement, argument, altercation, dispute, controversy, tug-of-war
vulgar slang shitstorm


[no object]
1Fight or struggle tenaciously to achieve or resist something: he has been battling against the illness representatives from eight countries are battling for the title
More example sentences
  • Players on both sides are unknowingly battling for cross hemisphere respect from people they will never meet.
  • As it stands, national lobby groups are battling against the ad budgets of brand name giants.
  • Furious residents are battling for the second time to stop huge mobile phone masts going up in Corsham town centre.
fight, combat, contend with;
resist, withstand, stand up to, confront;
war with, feud with;
struggle with, strive against
1.1 [with object] Engage in a fight or struggle against: firefighters battled a 9,800-acre brush fire
More example sentences
  • Firefighters battled a blaze at the disused Robert Fletcher paper mill in Stoneclough last night.
  • Elsewhere, firefighters battled flash floods caused by the torrential rain.
  • The building was evacuated, and firefighters battled the fire for more than an hour.
force, push, elbow, shoulder, fight;
struggle, labor



battle it out

Fight or compete to a definite conclusion.
Example sentences
  • The sheepdog won round one of Thursday's competition before battling it out in the final with 30 other dogs in the mixed breed category.
  • The first event on the list is the mixed draughts competitions with Hacketstown battling it out in two sections.
  • Shooting teams from all over Europe battled it out in an exciting competition three weeks ago in Bywell, Scotland.

do battle

Fight; engage in conflict: do battle with the forces of evil
More example sentences
  • The Texans defense sparkled last night in Denver as the first teams did battle into three quarters.
  • So armed with a fly swatter and a can of Raid, Christopher did battle upstairs and Dawn did battle downstairs.
  • Both races hatred for the Romans was clear and they charged into the oncoming enemy and did battle amongst the trees.

battle royal

Pronunciation: /ˌbadl ˈroi(ə)l/
(plural battles royal) A fiercely contested fight or dispute: there promises to be a battle royal between the two companies
More example sentences
  • The wisdom of those remarks is demonstrated by the revelation that these parties have spent £50,000 on this litigation so far and they still have a battle royal to fight over damages for misrepresentation.
  • And so, given the budget deficits ahead, the battle royal will be fought over what remains of federal social spending.
  • Del Toro brings a solid visual eye to the project, but his fight scenes are overlong and too close to a WWF battle royal than superhuman opponents squaring off.

battle stations

chiefly US The positions taken by military personnel in preparation for battle (often used as a command or signal to prepare for battle).
Example sentences
  • Now a deafening siren comes on and a speaker blares ‘Battle stations, all personnel to battle stations.’
  • Because their mission is yet to be determined, the crewmembers are training on everything from force protection to battle stations and rules of engagement.
  • They only test how efficient specialists are at their battle stations as part of teams or crews.

half the battle

An important step toward achieving something: he never gives in, and that’s half the battle
More example sentences
  • Curiosity is the first step towards knowledge, and knowing is half the battle.
  • If a good start is half the battle then two good starts will surely win most battles.
  • I knew that was only half the battle - exercise was going to be an important component to my weight loss.


Middle English: from Old French bataille (noun), bataillier (verb), based on late Latin battualia 'military or gladiatorial exercises', from Latin battuere 'to beat'.

  • Along with battalion (late 16th century), batter (Middle English), and battery, the word battle goes back through French to Latin battuere ‘to strike, beat’, also found in combat (mid 16th century) ‘fight together’. Battle appears in many phrases. We say that we are fighting a losing battle when a struggle is bound to end in failure, or that something that contributes to success is half the battle. A fiercely contested fight or dispute is a battle royal, which was originally a fight with several combatants.

Words that rhyme with battle

cattle, chattel, embattle, prattle, rattle, Seattle, tattle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bat·tle

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