fechten

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old High German fehtan (to fight), from Proto-Germanic *fehtaną, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *peḱ-. Cognate to Low German fechten, Dutch vechten, English fight, Danish fegte, Norwegian fekte.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

fechten (class 3 strong, third-person singular simple present ficht or fechtet, past tense focht, past participle gefochten, auxiliary haben)

  1. (intransitive) to fence
  2. (intransitive, poetic) to fight
    • 1772, Salomon Geßner, Neue Idyllen:
      Einer, der neben mir focht, sah rückwärts, rafft' auf seine Schulter mich, und lief mit mir aus der Schlacht. Ein frommer Ordensmann betete nicht weit auf einem Fels um unsern Sieg: Pflege diesen, Vater, er hat gefochten wie ein Mann!
      “One who fought next to me, looked backward, gather'd me up on his shoulder, and ran with me from the battle. A devout man of God prayed not far on a rock for our victory: Look after this one, father, he has fought like a man!”
    • 1844, Karl Simrock, Das kleine Heldenbuch:
      Bald gilt an deinem Hofe ein angelneuer Brauch: / Du fichtst nun mit der Linken, die Goten werdens auch
      “Soon a new English custom held in your court: / You now fight with the left hand, as is done by the Goths”
    • Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, translation by August Wilhelm Schlegel:
      Ich hörte wilden Lärm, als föchte man, Und der Wind bringt vom Kapitol ihn her.
      “I heard a bustling rumour, as if one fought, and the wind brings it from the Capitol.”

Usage notes[edit]

  • For the 2nd and 3rd person singular there are two sets of forms: regular (du fechtest, er fechtet) and traditional (du fichtst, er ficht). The regular forms are overall more common. The traditional ones remain favoured in literary German but may easily be unintelligible to less educated speakers. (Only the traditional forms are used in the poetic sense “to fight”.)

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Low German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Low German vechten, from Old Saxon fehtan, from Proto-Germanic *fehtaną, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *peḱ-. Cognate with English fight, German fechten, Dutch vechten, West Frisian fjuchte, Danish fegte.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

fechten (past singular fecht or focht, past participle fecht or fochten, auxiliary verb hebben)

  1. to fight, to combat, to wage battle
  2. to fence
  3. to struggle
  4. to brawl

Conjugation[edit]

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