battle

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Battle

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbætəl/, [ˈbatʰɫ̩]
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈbætl̩/, [ˈbæɾɫ̩], [bætɫ̩]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ætəl
  • Hyphenation: bat‧tle

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English batayle, batel, borrowed from Old French bataille, from Late Latin battālia, variant of 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), Old English gūþ (battle, combat), and Old English heaþo- (battle, war) (this last only in compounds).

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
    • 1886, Henry Morley, “Introduction”, in A Journal of the Plague Year[1], page v:
      [] and 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”, in 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, chapter x, in Le Morte Darthur, book II:
      THenne kyng Arthur made redy his hoost in x batails and Nero was redy in the felde afore the castel Tarabil with a grete hoost / & he had x batails with many mo peple than Arthur had
    • 1622, Francis Bacon, The historie of the raigne of King Henry the Seuenth[2]:
      They say, that the king divided his army into three battles, whereof the van-guard only well strengthened with wings came to fight
    • 1769, William Robertson, A View of the Progress of Society in Europe from the Subversion of the Roman Empire to the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century[3], Section II:
      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]
The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}} to add them to the appropriate sense(s).
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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#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
    Scientists always battle over theories.
    She has been battling against cancer for years.
  2. (transitive) To fight or struggle; to enter into a battle with.
    She has been battling cancer for years.
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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2[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 West 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. (Britain dialectal, chiefly Scotland, Northern England, agriculture) Improving; nutritious; fattening.
    battle grass, battle pasture
  2. (Britain 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, Britain dialectal, chiefly Scotland, Northern England) To nourish; feed.
  2. (transitive, Britain dialectal, chiefly Scotland, Northern England) To render (for example soil) fertile or fruitful
Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

Anagrams[edit]