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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Before it was over, knuckle-dusters had been used and two of the combatants were taken to hospital.
▪ But the new strategy threatens not only combatants, but those coordinating attacks.
▪ On one side of the river, the combatants represented good.
▪ Political combatants now routinely impugn the very moral fiber of their opponents.
▪ The controversy was so deep that an appeal was made to Rome by the combatants.
▪ The group is believed to have about 100 combatants.
▪ The two combatants gradually edge off to the other side of the street.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Combatant \Com"bat*ant\, n. [F. combattant.] One who engages in combat. IN military use, opposed to noncombatant. ``The mighty combatants.''

A controversy which long survived the original combatants.


Combatant \Com"bat*ant\, a. [F. combattant, p. pr.] Contending; disposed to contend.
--B. Jonson.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-15c. (adj.), late 15c. (n.), from Old French combatant (Modern French combattant) "skilled at fighting, warlike" (also used as a noun in Old French), present participle adjective of combattre (see combat (v.)).


a. Contending; disposed to contend. n. An armed fighter.

  1. adj. engaging in or ready for combat

  2. n. someone who fights (or is fighting) [syn: battler, belligerent, fighter, scrapper]


A combatant is a person who takes a direct part in the hostilities of an armed conflict. If a combatant follows the law of war, then he or she is considered a privileged combatant and upon capture, he or she will qualify as a prisoner of war under the Third Geneva Convention (GCIII). An unprivileged combatant is a person, such as a mercenary, who takes a direct part in the hostilities but who upon capture does not qualify for prisoner-of-war status.

Usage examples of "combatant".

The initiatory contest between Lydon and Tetraides being less deadly than that between the other combatants, no sooner had they advanced to the middle of the arena than, as by common consent, the rest held back, to see how that contest should be decided, and wait till fiercer weapons might replace the cestus, ere they themselves commenced hostilities.

When a public quarrel is envenomed by private injuries, a blow that is not mortal or decisive can be productive only of a short truce, which allows the unsuccessful combatant to sharpen his arms for a new encounter.

Axel Haavikko, sitting on the front bench between Fest and Ebert, narrowed his eyes, studying the two combatants.

The flight and pursuit, so harassing, so hot, Have drifted all combatants far from the spot: And through the sparse woodlands, and over the plain, Lie gorily scattered, the wounded and slain.

Battle of the Togati and the Town--Raff--A Night--Scene in the High-Street, Oxford--Description of the Combatants-- Attack of the Gownsmen upon the Mitre--Evolutions of the Assailants--Manoeuvres of the Proctors and Bull--Dogs-- Perilous Condition of Blackmantle and his Associates, Eglantine, Echo, and Transit--Snug Retreat of Lionise--The High-- Street after the Battle--Origin of the Argotiers, and Invention of Cant--phrases--History of the Intestine Wars and Civil Broils of Oxford, from the Time of Alfred--Origin of the late Strife--Ancient Ballad--Retreat of the Togati-- Reflections of a Freshman--Black Matins, or the Effect of late Drinking upon early Risers--Visit to Golgotha, or the Place of Sculls--Lecture from the Big--Wigs--Tom Echo receives Sentence of Rustication 246 TOWNE AND GOWNE 263 THE STAGE COACH, OR THE TRIP TO BRIGHTON.

Some hand-to-hand combat took place, the combatants hewing at each other with sword and ax, but generally the opposition was feeble.

Huge, hirsute footmen surged around a pair of mounted combatants, attempting to bring them down.

We are referring, on the contrary, to something more like the communist and liberatory combatants of the twentieth-century revolutions, the intellectuals who were persecuted and exiled in the course of anti-fascist struggles, the republicans of the Spanish civil war and the European resistance movements, and the freedom fighters of all the anticolonial and anti-imperialist wars.

Before the ducking Brynn could even think about stabbing forward under that slashing blade, Ung Lik Dy altered the momentum so that his sword was cutting diagonal slashes between the two combatants, forcing Brynn to retreat instead.

Still, it was only a few moments before all the machicolations were open and Alengwyned and his thegns could look straight down at the combatants on the parapet, and could likewise observe the stairs inside the tower, by which their compeers were still tramping up to join them.

Euchees on the tower platform, many of them around the crenels or tending the roaring fire in the brazier, heating more oil and lighting wads of tow, and a dozen archers and crossbowmen shooting down through the machicolations at the combatants far below.

Leaping among the combatants he urged his fellows aboard the prahu which was already half filled with Dyaks.

Thunderous rapid blasts of psychokinetic power hurled simultaneously by the combatants collide and rumble across the black mounds of the moors.

Shortly the action slackened, as combatants came to face opponents of more equal skill and cunning.

They could hear now the shouts of the combatants without, the loud orders given by the leaders on the walls, the crack, as the stones hurled by the mangonels struck the walls, and the ring of steel as the arrows struck against steel cap and cuirass.