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a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing military forces:
the battle of Waterloo.
participation in such hostile encounters or engagements:
wounds received in battle.
a fight between two persons or animals:
ordering a trial by battle to settle the dispute.
any conflict or struggle:
a battle for control of the Senate.
Archaic. a battalion.
to engage in battle:
ready to battle with the enemy.
to work very hard or struggle; strive:
to battle for freedom.
to fight (a person, army, cause, etc.):
We battled strong winds and heavy rains in our small boat.
to force or accomplish by fighting, struggling, etc.:
He battled his way to the top of his profession.
give / do battle, to enter into conflict; fight:
He was ready to do battle for his beliefs.
to furnish (a building or wall) with battlements; crenelate.
Contemporary Examples

The body armor would indicate an intention to do battle with the police if necessary and escape the scene if possible.
The Motivation Behind the Colorado Killings Is Murky, but the Horror Is Crystal Clear Michael Daly July 20, 2012

Among all the monsters Godzilla fights in the movie, the battle with Zilla is the shortest.
A Comprehensive History of Toho’s Original Kaiju (and Atomic Allegory) Godzilla Rich Goldstein May 17, 2014

His daughter, Noelle, appears to have won a battle with substance abuse, a common subplot for many American families.
Can Jeb Bush Save the GOP and End Its Emerging Civil War? John Avlon March 4, 2013

And, in any case, he was liquidating the one war he had pumped up as the good war—the battle in Afghanistan.
What’s Left of Obama’s Mideast Policy? Marty Peretz July 17, 2013

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the budget for battle: Los Angeles.
For Movie Studios, March Is Hot Chris Lee March 2, 2011

Historical Examples

Some one said that the battle with Shields may be fought to-morrow.
The Long Roll Mary Johnston

The Assyrians marched against the Egyptians and defeated them in battle.
Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon

I can’t tell you just when will be the battle, but we must look for it soon—for one or for many.
The Long Roll Mary Johnston

The first sign of unwariness would begin and end the battle.
Way of the Lawless Max Brand

At the battle of The Cow-pens, Jackson again distinguished himself.
Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris

a fight between large armed forces; military or naval engagement; combat
conflict; contention; struggle: his battle for recognition
do battle, give battle, join battle, to start fighting
when intr, often foll by against, for, or with. to fight in or as if in military combat; contend (with): she battled against cancer
to struggle in order to achieve something or arrive somewhere: he battled through the crowd
(intransitive) (Austral) to scrape a living, esp by doing odd jobs
a town in SE England, in East Sussex: site of the Battle of Hastings (1066); medieval abbey. Pop: 5190 (2001)
Kathleen. born 1948, US opera singer: a coloratura soprano, she made her professional debut in 1972 and sang with New York City’s Metropolitan Opera (1977–94)

c.1300, from Old French bataille “battle, single combat,” also “inner turmoil, harsh circumstances; army, body of soldiers,” from Late Latin battualia “exercise of soldiers and gladiators in fighting and fencing,” from Latin battuere “to beat, to strike” (see batter (v.)). Phrase battle royal “fight involving several combatants” is from 1670s.

early 14c., “to fight,” from French batailler (12c.), from bataille (see battle (n.)). Related: Battled; battling.

half the battle
losing battle
pitched battle


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