Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: bataille, from Late Latin battalia 'fighting', from Latin battuere 'to hit'


1 noun
bat‧tle1 W2 [countable]


a fight between opposing armies, groups of ships, groups of people etc, especially one that is part of a larger war:
the Battle of Trafalgar
in battle
Her son was killed in battle.
into battle
a knight riding into battle
battle between
battles between government forces and the rebels
a pitched battle (=a long and serious battle) between police and drug gangs


a situation in which opposing groups or people compete or argue with each other when trying to achieve success or control:
a long-running legal battle
battle for
a battle for custody of their children
battle between
a fierce ratings battle between rival TV stations
battle with
an on-going battle with my mother about eating properly

change bad situation

an attempt to solve a difficult problem or change an unpleasant situationCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
fight a battle win a battle lose a battle a losing battle (=something you cannot achieve) an uphill battle (=something that is very difficult to do)
battle against
a battle against the racism of the school system
battle with
a long battle with lung cancer
battle for
Scientology has fought long battles for acceptance as a religion.
Learning to read as an adult is tough work, but you can win this battle if you try.
We've tried to mend the fence several times, but we're fighting a losing battle.
Keeping the house tidy is an uphill battle .

be half the battle

to be a difficult or important part of what you have to do:
Just getting an interview is half the battle.

a battle of wits

a situation in which opposing sides try to win by using their intelligence:
A good mystery story is a battle of wits between author and reader.

battle of wills

a situation in which opposing sides refuse to change what they want, in the hope that the other side will decide to change first:
a battle of wills between teacher and student

do battle (with somebody)

to argue with someone or fight against someone:
She walked into the room with her eyes blazing, ready to do battle.

fight your own battles

to argue with someone or compete in a difficult situation without having help from other people - used to show approval:
It's all right, Mum. I can fight my own battles.

the battle of the sexes

the relationship between men and women when it is considered as a fight for power

the battle of the bulge

the act of trying to lose weight - used humorously

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