battle

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See also: Battle

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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 *batjaną, *bōtijaną (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.

Alternative forms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

battle (comparative more battle, superlative most battle)

  1. (UK dialectal, chiefly Scotland, Northern England, agriculture) Improving; nutritious; fattening.
    battle grass, battle pasture
  2. (UK dialectal, chiefly Scotland, Northern England) Fertile; fruitful.
    battle soil, battle land
Derived terms[edit]

Verb[edit]

battle (third-person singular simple present battles, present participle battling, simple past and past participle battled)

  1. (transitive, UK dialectal, chiefly Scotland, Northern England) To nourish; feed.
  2. (transitive, UK dialectal, chiefly Scotland, Northern England) To render fertile or fruitful, as in soil.
  3. To fight or struggle against something.
    She has been battling against cancer for years.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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)).

Displaced native Old English hild (battle), Old English beadu (battle, war).

Alternative forms[edit]

  • batail (14th - 16th centuries)

Noun[edit]

battle (plural battles)

  1. A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the divisions of an army are or may be engaged; an engagement; a combat.
  2. A struggle; a contest.
    the battle of life
    • (Can we date this quote?) Henry Morley:
      The whole intellectual battle that had at its centre the best poem of the best poet of that day.
    • 2011 November 3, Chris Bevan, “Rubin Kazan 1 - 0 Tottenham”, BBC Sport:
      In truth, Tottenham never really looked like taking all three points and this defeat means they face a battle to reach the knockout stages -with their next home game against PAOK Salonika on 30 November likely to prove decisive.
    • 2012, Clive James 'near the end' in cancer battle, ITV News, 21 June 2012:
      Australian broadcaster Clive James has admitted that he is losing his long-fought battle with leukaemia.
  3. (now rare) A division of an army; a battalion.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book II:
      Thenne kyng Arthur made redy his hoost in x batails [] .
    • (Can we date this quote?) Francis Bacon:
      The king divided his army into three battles.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Robertson:
      The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every action.
    • 2000, George RR Martin, A Storm of Swords, Bantam 2011, page 634:
      ‘I will have more than twelve thousand men. I mean to divide them into three battles and start up the causeway a half-day apart.’
  4. (obsolete) The main body, as distinct from the vanguard and rear; battalia.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hayward to this entry?)
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

battle (third-person singular simple present battles, present participle battling, simple past and past participle battled)

  1. (intransitive) To join in battle; to contend in fight; as, to battle over theories.
  2. (transitive) To assail in battle; to fight.
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

References[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]