Inherited from late Middle English combataunt, from Middle French combatant. Doublet of combattant.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkɒm.bə.tənt/
    • (file)
  • (US, Canada) IPA(key): /kəm.ˈbæ.tənt/


combatant (plural combatants)

  1. A person engaged in combat, often armed.
    Gladiators were combatants who fought to the death to entertain the public.
    • c. 1591, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 1, Act IV, Scene 1,[1]
      Come hither, you that would be combatants:
      Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favour,
      Quite to forget this quarrel and the cause.
    • 1789, Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, London: for the author, Volume 1, Chapter 3, p. 112,[2]
      On the passage, one day, for the diversion of those gentlemen, all the boys were called on the quarter deck, and were paired proportionably, and then made to fight; after which the gentlemen gave the combatants from five to nine shillings each.
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, Chapter 12,[3]
      If any combatant was struck down, and unable to recover his feet, his squire or page might enter the lists, and drag his master out of the press; but in that case the knight was adjudged vanquished []
    • 1992, William M. Hutchins and Angele Botros Samaan (translators), Sugar Street by Naguib Mahfouz, New York: Anchor Books, 1993, Chapter 48, p. 271,[4]
      [] Don’t you realize that alcohol is an essential part of heroism? The combatant and the drunkard are brothers, you genius.”

Derived termsEdit




combatant (comparative more combatant, superlative most combatant)

  1. Contending; disposed to contend.
    • 1641, Ben Jonson, The Magnetic Lady, New York: Henry Holt, 1914, Act III, Scene 5, p. 65,[5]
      Their valours are not yet so combatant,
      Or truly antagonistick, as to fight;
  2. Involving combat.
    • 1921, John Dos Passos, Three Soldiers, New York: Modern Library, 1932, Part Two, Chapter 1, p. 71,[6]
      He wished he were in a combatant service; he wanted to fight, fight.

Middle FrenchEdit


combatant (feminine singular combatante, masculine plural combatans, feminine plural combatantes)

  1. present participle of combatre
  2. (may be preceded by en, invariable) gerund of combatre



From French combattant.


combatant m or n (feminine singular combatantă, masculine plural combatanți, feminine and neuter plural combatante)

  1. fighting