- 1 [countable] a struggle against somebody/something using physical force fight (with somebody/something) He got into a fight with a man in the bar. I had a fight with the ticket machine, which was being temperamental. a street/gang fight fight (between A and B) A fight broke out between rival groups of fans. a world title fight (= fighting as a sport, especially boxing) Synonymsfightclash brawl struggle scuffleThese are all words for a situation in which people try to defeat each other using physical force.fight a situation in which two or more people try to defeat each other using physical force:He got into a fight with a man in the bar.clash (journalism) a short fight between two groups of people:Clashes broke out between police and demonstrators.brawl a noisy and violent fight involving a group of people, usually in a public place:a drunken brawl in a barstruggle a fight between two people or groups of people, especially when one of them is trying to escape, or to get something from the other:There were no signs of a struggle at the murder scene.scuffle a short and not very violent fight or struggle:He was involved in a scuffle with a photographer.Patterns a fight/clash/brawl/struggle/scuffle over something in a fight/brawl/struggle/scuffle a violent fight/clash/struggle to be in/get into/be involved in a fight/clash/brawl/scuffle a fight/clash/brawl/scuffle breaks out See related entries: Combat sports trying to get/do something
- 2 [singular] the work of trying to destroy, prevent or achieve something fight (against something) the fight against crime fight (for something) a fight for survival fight (to do something) Workers won their fight to stop compulsory redundancies. competition
- 3[singular] a competition or an act of competing, especially in a sport The team put up a good fight (= they played well) but were finally beaten. She now has a fight on her hands (= will have to play very well) to make it through to the next round. Synonymscampaignbattle struggle drive war fightThese are all words for an effort made to achieve or prevent something.campaign a series of planned activities that are intended to achieve a particular social, commercial or political aim:the campaign for parliamentary reform an advertising campaign battle a competition or argument between people or groups of people trying to win power or control:She finally won the legal battle for compensation. the endless battle between man and naturestruggle a competition or argument between people or groups of people trying to win power or control:the struggle for independence the struggle between good and evilbattle or struggle?A struggle is always about things that seem absolutely necessary, such as life and death or freedom. A battle can also be about things that are not absolutely necessary, just desirable, or about the pleasure of winning:the battle/struggle between good and evil a legal struggle for compensation a struggle of wills/wits.drive an organized effort by a group of people to achieve something:the drive for greater efficiency a drive to reduce energy consumptioncampaign or drive?A campaign is usually aimed at getting other people to do something; a drive may be an attempt by people to get themselves to do something:From today, we’re going on an economy drive(= we must spend less). A campaign may be larger, more formal and more organized than a drive.war [sing.] an effort over a long period of time to get rid of or stop something bad:the war against crimefight [sing.] the work of trying to stop or prevent something bad or achieve something good; an act of competing, especially in a sport:Workers won their fight to stop compulsory redundancies.war or fight? A war is about stopping things, like drugs and crime, that everyone agrees are bad. A fight can be about achieving justice for yourself. Patterns a campaign/battle/struggle/drive/war/fight against something a campaign/battle/struggle/drive/fight for something a one-man/one-woman/personal campaign/battle/struggle/war a bitter campaign/battle/struggle/drive/war/fight to launch/embark on a campaign/battle/drive to lead/continue the campaign/battle/struggle/drive/fight to win/lose a battle/struggle/war/fight argument
- 4 [countable] fight (with somebody) (over/about something) (especially North American English) an argument about something Did you have a fight with him? We had a fight over money. battle/war
- 5[countable] a battle, especially for a particular place or position In the fight for Lemburg, the Austrians were defeated. desire to fight
- 6[uncountable] the desire or ability to keep fighting for something In spite of many defeats, they still had plenty of fight left in them. Losing their leader took all the fight out of them. Word Origin Old English feohtan (verb), feoht(e), gefeoht (noun), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vechten, gevecht and German fechten, Gefecht.Extra examples Andy was drunk and spoiling for a fight. Are we losing the fight against illegal drugs? By 1807 politics had become a fight to the death between the two factions. Coal workers are determined to put up a fight to save their jobs. Doctors have now joined in the fight to make this treatment available to all. Don’t get into any more fights! He is still engaged in a bitter fight with his old company. He killed a man in a fight. He tried to pick a fight with me. He was killed during a series of running fights outside a disco. I don’t know who started the fight. I’m not giving up without a fight! If the polls are wrong and it’s a fight to the finish, the result may not be known until all the votes have been counted. In a straight fight the army usually won. In a straight fight the crusaders usually won; in skirmishes, the Saracens often overcame their more numerous opponents. It was a fair fight and Stephen won. No doubt Ferguson wants his team to make a fight of it. Now he is facing his toughest fight yet—back to fitness after a series of injuries. She died at the age of 43 after a brave fight against cancer. She just gave up her fight for life. She now has a fight on her hands to make it through to the next round. She now has a fight on her hands= will have to play very well to make it through to the next round. She said they would continue their fight to find a cure for AIDS. She vowed to take her fight to the High Court. Suddenly the argument developed into a real fight. The dog fights took place every Sunday morning. The fight for justice goes on. The fight for supremacy in the sport is on. The fight is on to have this brutal practice stamped out. The fight was broken up by a teacher. The government has vowed to step up the fight against crime. The team put up a good fight but were finally beaten. The team put up a good fight= they played well but were finally beaten. There’s nothing he likes so much as a good fight. They got involved in a fight with some older boys. They inadvertently got mixed up in a free fight involving some 20 people. They nearly had a fight over who should move first. This will be a straight fight between Labour and the Conservatives: the other parties are nowhere. This will be a straight fight between the two parties. Union leaders know that they have a real fight on their hands. a long fight to beat inflation a new weapon in the fight against car crime fights between hostile clans fights between police and football fans his fight with cancer lawyers leading the fight for compensation for the injured workers the company’s desperate fight for survival in a cut-throat market the world title fight between Tyson and Lewis their fight for a fair deal Did you two have a fight? He has lined up a world title fight against Lewis. He is unbeaten in 34 fights. In the fight for Lemburg, the Austrians lost. The government has released new figures in the fight against crime. The referee stopped the fight in the third round. They got tickets to watch the world title fight. a fist fightIdioms to want to fight with somebody very much a sports competition, election, etc. between sides that are so equal in ability that they continue fighting very hard until the end Six teams are bitter rivals in what will be a fight to the finish. to deliberately start a fight or an argument with somebody He had drunk too much and was ready to pick a fight with anyone who crossed his path.