Bat·tle a. Fertile. See Battel, a. [Obs.]
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; as, the battle of life.
The whole intellectual battle that had at its center the best poem of the best poet of that day. --H. Morley.
3. A division of an army; a battalion. [Obs.]
The king divided his army into three battles. --Bacon.
The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every action. --Robertson.
4. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear; battalia. [Obs.]
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.
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 mêlée. --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.
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.
Bat·tle v. i. [imp. & p. p. Battled p. pr. & vb. n. Battling.] To join in battle; to contend in fight; as, to battle over theories.
To meet in arms, and battle in the plain. --Prior.
Bat·tle, v. t. To assail in battle; to fight.
n 1: a hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course
of a war; "Grant won a decisive victory in the battle of
Chickamauga"; "he lost his romantic ideas about war when
he got into a real engagement" [syn: conflict, fight,
2: an energetic attempt to achieve something; "getting through
the crowd was a real struggle"; "he fought a battle for
recognition" [syn: struggle]
3: an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals);
"the harder the conflict the more glorious the
triumph"--Thomas Paine; "police tried to control the
battle between the pro- and anti-abortion mobs" [syn: conflict,
v : battle or contend against in or as if in a battle; "The
Kurds are combating Iraqi troops in Nothern Iraq"; "We
must combat the prejudices against other races"; "they
battled over the budget" [syn: combat]