See also: Battle

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

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

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English batel, batell, batelle, batayle, bataylle, borrowed from Old French bataille, from Late Latin battālia, variant of battuālia (fighting and fencing exercises) from Latin battuō (to strike, hit, beat, fight), from a Gaulish root from Proto-Indo-European *bʰedʰ- (to stab, dig). Doublet of battalia and battel.

Displaced native Old English ġefeoht.

Alternative formsEdit

NounEdit

battle (plural battles)

  1. A contest, a struggle.
    the battle of life
    • 1611, Bible (KJV), Ecclesiastes, 9:11:
      I returned, and saw vnder the Sunne, That the race is not to the swift, nor the battell to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of vnderstanding, nor yet fauour to men of skil; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
    • 1884, Henry Morley, “Introduction”, in Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year: [], London: George Routledge and Sons, Limd.; New York, N.Y.: E. P. Dutton and Co., OCLC 1108560303, page v:
      [T]he whole intellectual battle that had at its centre the best poem of the best poet of that day, and had the English Revolution among issues of the strife, was quickening the energies within young Foe's [i.e., Daniel Defoe's] mind when his age was twenty.
    • 2011 November 3, Chris Bevan, “Rubin Kazan 1 – 0 Tottenham”, in BBC Sport[1], archived from the original on 26 March 2019:
      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 June 21, “Clive James: ‘I’ve Lost My Battle with Cancer’”, in ITV News[2], archived from the original on 21 June 2012:
      Australian broadcaster Clive James has admitted that he is losing his long-fought battle with leukaemia.
  2. (military) A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the divisions of an army are or may be engaged; a combat, an engagement.
  3. (military, now rare) A division of an army; a battalion.
    • [a. 1472, Thomas Malory, “Capitulum x”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book II (in Middle English), [London: [] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786, leaf 43, verso; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034, lines 28–31, page 86:
      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 [...]
      Then King Arthur made ready his host in 10 battles and Nero was ready in the field before the castle Tarabil with a great host / and he had 10 battles with many more people than Arthur had [...]]
    • 1622, Francis, Lord Verulam, Viscount St. Alban [i.e. Francis Bacon], The Historie of the Raigne of King Henry the Seventh, [], London: [] W[illiam] Stansby for Matthew Lownes, and William Barret, OCLC 1086746628, page 35:
      They ſay, that the King diuided his Armie into three Battailes; whereof the Vant-guard onely well ſtrengthened with wings, came to fight.
    • 1769, William Robertson, “Section II. View of the Progress of Society in Europe, with Respect to the Command of the National Force Requisite in Foreign Operations.”, in The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V. With a View of the Progress of Society in Europe, from the Subversion of the Roman Empire, to the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century. In Three Volumes, volume I, London: Printed by W. and W. Strahan, for W[illiam] Strahan; T[homas] Cadell, []; and J. Balfour, [], OCLC 741692294, page 87:
      No gentleman would appear in the field but on horſeback. To ſerve in any other manner he would have deemed derogatory to his rank. The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called The battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every action. The infantry, collected from the dregs and refuſe of the people, ill armed and worſe diſciplined; was of no account.
    • 2000 November, George R[aymond] R[ichard] Martin, A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire; book 3), New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books, →ISBN; Bantam Spectra mass market edition, New York, N.Y.: Bantam Dell, March 2003, →ISBN, page 634:
      Once I link up with Lord Bolton and the Freys, 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. (military, obsolete) The main body of an army, as distinct from the vanguard and rear; the battalia.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hayward to this entry?)
  5. (military, clipping of) battle buddy
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
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.

VerbEdit

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.
    • 1979 August, Michael Harris, “A line for all reasons: the North Yorkshire Moors Railway”, in Railway World, page 415:
      Hard work is required from men and machines as I was to experience later when footplating Lambton No 5 on five bogies battling its way up Newtondale.
  2. (transitive) To fight or struggle; to enter into a battle with.
    She has been battling cancer for years.
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
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 2Edit

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) + -ol ( +‎ -le).

Alternative formsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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 termsEdit

VerbEdit

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 termsEdit

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit