Definition of battle noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbætl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbætl//
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  1. 1  [countable, uncountable] a fight between armies, ships or planes, especially during a war; a violent fight between groups of people the battle of Waterloo to be killed in battle a gun battle to go into battle see also pitched battle See related entries: Conflict
  2. 2  [countable] battle (with somebody) (for something) a competition, an argument or a struggle between people or groups of people trying to win power or control a legal battle for compensation a battle with an insurance company a battle of wits (= when each side uses their ability to think quickly to try to win) a battle of wills (= when each side is very determined to win) the battle of the sexes the endless battle between man and nature 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
  3. 3  [countable, usually singular] a determined effort that somebody makes to solve a difficult problem or succeed in a difficult situation battle (against something) her long battle against cancer to fight an uphill battle against prejudice battle (for something) a battle for survival battle (with something) his battle with alcoholism
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French bataille (noun), bataillier (verb), based on late Latin battualia ‘military or gladiatorial exercises’, from Latin battuere ‘to beat’.Extra examples A policy battle is raging in Washington. A ten-month legal battle ensued. A turf battle among competing drug cartels has claimed several lives. Are you prepared to do battle with your insurance company over the claim? As a parent, you have to pick your battles. Charles V refused to give battle. He died in battle. Iwo Jima was for many the climactic battle of World War II. Many young men were sent into battle without proper training. My parents believed in leaving me to fight my own battles. Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. Police fought a pitched battle against demonstrators. Scores of people have been hurt in running battles with police. She saw a way to end the prolonged legal battle. The college president fought a running battle with the editors of the student newspaper. The government now faces a new battle over tax increases. The leaders anxiously watched the battle unfold. The squadron was getting ready for the coming battle. The two armies fought a pitched battle on the plain. The two armies joined battle. The upcoming political battle could be for the allegiance of the young. There’s now a real battle at the top of the First Division. They are engaged in a long-running legal battle with their competitors. We seem to be fighting a losing battle. a fierce battle between developers and the local community a gun battle between police and drug smugglers a heated battle between the oil industry and environmentalists his long battle against cancer the battle for human rights He had been conducting a personal battle of wits with the sales manager since his first day at work. His father had been killed in battle. Looking after a two-year-old needn’t be a constant battle of wills. She finally won the legal battle for compensation. The battle claimed the lives of 3 soldiers and 40 guerrillas. The essay discusses the endless battle between man and nature.Idioms
    the battle lines are drawn
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    used to say that people or groups have shown which side they intend to support in an argument or contest that is going to begin
    do battle (with somebody) (over something)
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    to fight or argue with somebody He was quite prepared to do battle with his boss over his promotion.
    to try to do something that you will probably never succeed in doing I’m fighting a losing battle against the mess in this house! to be able to win an argument or get what you want without anyone’s help I wouldn't get involved—he's old enough to fight his own battles. the most important or difficult part of achieving something When you’ve got a difficult day ahead, getting a good night’s sleep is often half the battle.
    join battle (with somebody)
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    (formal) to begin fighting somebody (figurative) Local residents have joined battle with the council over the lack of parking facilities.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: battle