Language: Old English
Origin: feohtan


1 verb
Related topics: Sport
fight1 S1 W1 past tense and past participle fought


[intransitive and transitive] to take part in a war or battle
fight in
the families of those who fought in the war
fight against/with
rebel forces fighting against the Russians
fight about/over/for
They fought for control of the islands.
Neither country is capable of fighting a long war.
Later the Indians fought the Anglo settlers.

hit people

[intransitive and transitive] if someone fights another person, or if two people fight, they hit and kick the other person in order to hurt them
fight with
Two guys were fighting with each other in the street.
fight about/over/for
They were fighting over a girl.
She fought him desperately, kicking and biting.

try to do something

[intransitive and transitive] to try hard to do or get something
fight for
The men were fighting for higher wages.
Stockley is fighting for his life (=trying to stay alive), with serious head injuries.
She fought her way back into the first team.
fight to do something
The president was fighting to survive.

prevent something

[intransitive and transitive] to try very hard to prevent something or to get rid of something unpleasant that already exists
fight against
People are fighting against repression and injustice.
We will fight terrorism, wherever it exists.


[intransitive and transitive] to take part in an election or compete strongly for something, especially a job or political position
fight an election/a campaign
The prime minister decided to fight an early general election.
fight (somebody) for something
He had to fight several other applicants for the job.
Both men were used to fighting for power.


[intransitive] to argue about something
fight with
I heard her fighting with the boss.
fight about/over
They're fighting about who should do the dishes.


[intransitive and transitive] to take part in a boxing match:
Ali fought Foreman for the heavyweight title.


[intransitive and transitive] to try very hard not to have or show a feeling:
She fought her fear.
fight with
She was clearly fighting with her emotions.


[transitive] to try to get something or prevent something in a court of law:
The insurance company are fighting the claims in court.

fight your way (through/past etc somebody/something)

to move somewhere with difficulty, for example because there are so many people around you:
We fought our way through the crowd.

fight a losing battle

to try to do something that you probably cannot succeed in doing:
I'm fighting a losing battle on this diet.

have a fighting chance

to have a chance to do something or achieve something if you try very hard:
Lewis has a fighting chance to win the gold medal.

fight tooth and nail (for something)/fight something tooth and nail

to try very hard to do or achieve something, or to prevent something:
He's rich now, but he had to fight tooth and nail for it.

fight to the death/finish

to fight until one person or group is dead or completely defeated

fight your own battles

fight for what you want, without needing help from other people:
Mum, I can fight my own battles now.

fighting spirit

the desire to fight or win:
In the second half the team showed their true fighting spirit.

fighting words/talk

something you say that shows that you want to fight hard for something

fight fire with fire

to use the same methods as your opponents in an argument, competition etc

fight like cat and dog

if two people fight like cat and dog, they argue a lot because they dislike each other or disagree:
I didn't get on with her at work either - we fought like cat and dog.

fighting fit

British English extremely fit and healthy

fight your corner

British English to try to persuade people that your ideas about something are right and should be accepted:
The Prime Minister made it clear that Britain would fight its corner on Europe.

fight shy of (doing) something

British English to try to avoid doing something or being involved in something:
Many women fight shy of motherhood.

fight back

phrasal verb
1 to work hard to achieve or oppose something, especially in a situation where you are losing:
United fought back and scored a last-minute goal.
fight back against
She was fighting back against the cancer.
2 to use violence or arguments against someone who has attacked you or argued with you:
The rebels are fighting back.

fight something ↔ back

to try hard not to have or show a feeling:
She looked away, fighting back her tears.
He fought back the impulse to slap her.

fight something ↔ down

phrasal verb
to try hard not to have or show a feeling:
Doug fought down a feeling of panic.

fight somebody/something ↔ off

phrasal verb
1 to keep someone away, or stop them doing something to you, by fighting or opposing them:
Bodyguards had to fight off the crowds.
The company managed to fight off a takeover attempt.
2 to succeed in stopping other people getting something, and to get it for yourself:
Allan fought off stiff competition from throughout the UK to win one of only four places at the college.
3 to try hard to get rid of something, especially an illness or a feeling:
Elaine's fighting off a cold.

fight something out

phrasal verb
to argue or fight until a disagreement is settled:
We left them to fight it out.
synonyms: fight, quarrel, have a row British English

to argue about unimportant things: squabble, bicker, quibble

to stop arguing: bury the hatchet, settle your differences, make your peace with somebody, make it up (used about friends or lovers)

See also

Dictionary results for "fight"
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