battle


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Battle \Bat"tle\, a.
   Fertile. See Battel, a. [Obs.]
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Battle \Bat"tle\, n. [OE. bataille, bataile, F. bataille battle,
   OF., battle, battalion, fr. L. battalia, battualia, the
   fighting and fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators,
   fr. batuere to strike, beat. Cf. Battalia, 1st Battel,
   and see Batter, v. t. ]
   1. A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the
      divisions of an army are or may be engaged; an engagement;
      a combat.
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   2. A struggle; a contest; as, the battle of life.
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            The whole intellectual battle that had at its center
            the best poem of the best poet of that day. --H.
                                                  Morley.
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   3. A division of an army; a battalion. [Obs.]
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            The king divided his army into three battles.
                                                  --Bacon.
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            The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the
            battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every
            action.                               --Robertson.
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   4. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear;
      battalia. [Obs.] --Hayward.
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   Note: Battle is used adjectively or as the first part of a
         self-explaining compound; as, battle brand, a "brand"
         or sword used in battle; battle cry; battlefield;
         battle ground; battle array; battle song.
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   Battle piece, a painting, or a musical composition,
      representing a battle.

   Battle royal.
      (a) A fight between several gamecocks, where the one that
          stands longest is the victor. --Grose.
      (b) A contest with fists or cudgels in which more than two
          are engaged; a m[^e]l['e]e. --Thackeray.

   Drawn battle, one in which neither party gains the victory.
      

   To give battle, to attack an enemy.

   To join battle, to meet the attack; to engage in battle.

   Pitched battle, one in which the armies are previously
      drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the
      forces.

   Wager of battle. See under Wager, n.
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   Syn: Conflict; encounter; contest; action.

   Usage: Battle, Combat, Fight, Engagement. These words
          agree in denoting a close encounter between contending
          parties. Fight is a word of less dignity than the
          others. Except in poetry, it is more naturally applied
          to the encounter of a few individuals, and more
          commonly an accidental one; as, a street fight. A
          combat is a close encounter, whether between few or
          many, and is usually premeditated. A battle is
          commonly more general and prolonged. An engagement
          supposes large numbers on each side, engaged or
          intermingled in the conflict.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Battle \Bat"tle\ (b[a^]t"t'l), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Battled
   (-tl'd); p. pr. & vb. n. Battling.] [F. batailler, fr.
   bataille. See Battle, n.]
   To join in battle; to contend in fight; as, to battle over
   theories.
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         To meet in arms, and battle in the plain. --Prior.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Battle \Bat"tle\, v. t.
   To assail in battle; to fight.
   [1913 Webster] Battle-ax
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