Definition of fight verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//faɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fight
    BrE BrE//faɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪt//
    he / she / it fights
    BrE BrE//faɪts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪts//
    past simple fought
    BrE BrE//fɔːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːt//
    past participle fought
    BrE BrE//fɔːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːt//
    -ing form fighting
    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪtɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪtɪŋ//
    Combat sports
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    in war/battle
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to take part in a war or battle against an enemy soldiers trained to fight He fought in Vietnam. fight against somebody My grandfather fought against the Fascists in Spain. fight somebody/something to fight a war/battle They gathered soldiers to fight the invading army. CollocationsWar and peaceStarting a war declare/​make/​wage war (on somebody/​something) go to war (against/​with somebody) cause/​spark/​provoke/​foment/​quell unrest incite/​lead/​crush/​suppress a revolt/​rebellion launch/​mount/​carry out a surprise/​terrorist attack prevent/​halt/​represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/​be on the brink of civil war enter/​invade/​occupy somebody’s territory lead/​launch/​resist/​repel an invasionMilitary operations adopt/​develop/​implement/​pursue a military strategy carry out/​execute/​perform military operations/​manoeuvres/(especially US English) maneuvers send/​deploy/​station/​pull back/​withdraw troops go on/​fly/​carry out a reconnaissance/​rescue mission train/​equip/​deploy army/​military/​combat units lead/​launch/​conduct a raid/​a surprise attack/​an (air/​airborne/​amphibious) assault (on somebody) employ/​use guerrilla tactics conduct/​wage biological/​guerrilla warfare fight/​crush/​defeat the rebels/​the insurgency suffer/​inflict a crushing defeat achieve/​win a decisive victory halt/​stop the British/​German/​Russian advance order/​force a retreatFighting join/​serve in the army/​navy/​air force be/​go/​remain/​serve on active duty serve/​complete/​return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/​strike/​engage/​defeat/​kill/​destroy the enemy see/​report/​be engaged in heavy fighting call for/​be met with armed resistance come under heavy/​machine-gun/​mortar fire fire a machine-gun/​mortar shells/​rockets (at somebody/​something) shoot a rifle/​a pistol/​bullets/​missiles launch/​fire a cruise/​ballistic/​anti-tank missile use biological/​chemical/​nuclear weapons inflict/​suffer/​sustain heavy losses/​casualties be hit/​killed by enemy/​friendly/​artillery fire become/​be held as a prisoner of warCivilians in war harm/​kill/​target/​protect innocent/​unarmed civilians cause/​avoid/​limit/​minimize civilian casualties/​collateral damage impose/​enforce/​lift a curfew engage in/​be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to an internment/​a concentration camp accept/​house/​resettle refugees fleeing from war fear/​threaten military/​violent reprisals commit/​be accused of war crimes/​crimes against humanity/​genocideMaking peace make/​bring/​win/​achieve/​maintain/​promote peace call for/​negotiate/​broker/​declare a ceasefire/​a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/​bring/​put an end to hostilities demand/​negotiate/​accept the surrender of somebody/​something establish/​send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/​conclude/​ratify/​sign/​accept/​reject/​break/​violate a peace treaty
  2. struggle/hit
  3. 2  [intransitive, transitive] fight (somebody) to struggle physically with somebody My little brothers are always fighting. She'll fight like a tiger to protect her children.
  4. in contest
  5. 3  [transitive, intransitive] to take part in a contest against somebody fight somebody/something (for something) to fight an election/a campaign fight for something She's fighting for a place in the national team.
  6. oppose
  7. 4  [transitive, intransitive] fight (something) to try hard to stop, deal with or oppose something bad to fight racism/corruption/poverty, etc. Workers are fighting the decision to close the factory. The fire crews had problems fighting the blaze. We will fight for as long as it takes.
  8. try to get/do something
  9. 5[intransitive, transitive] to try very hard to get something or to achieve something fight (for something) He's still fighting for compensation after the accident. fight your way… She gradually fought her way to the top of the company. fight to do something Doctors fought for more than six hours to save his life. 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
  10. argue
  11. 6[intransitive] fight (with somebody) (about/over something) to have an argument with somebody about something It's a trivial matter and not worth fighting about. I remember lying in bed listening to my parents fighting.
  12. in boxing
  13. 7[intransitive, transitive] fight (somebody) to take part in a boxing match Doctors fear he may never fight again. See related entries: Combat sports
  14. law
  15. 8[transitive, intransitive] to try to get what you want in court fight (somebody) for something He fought his wife for custody of the children. fight something I'm determined to fight the case.
  16. Word OriginOld English feohtan (verb), feoht(e), gefeoht (noun), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vechten, gevecht and German fechten, Gefecht.Extra examples Children will fight even over small things. He did not believe that the enemy was ready to fight. He fought alongside his comrades. He fought hard to overcome his disability. He taught me how to fight with a sword. He was stabbed as he tried to fight the robbers off. He’s always fighting with his brother. Regional monopolies were bitterly fought for. Riot police fought with militants demonstrating in support of the uprising. She fought hard against his strong grip. The second half was fiercely fought, but neither side managed to score. The soldiers were prepared to fight to the death if they had to. They are committed to fighting against racism. They fought bravely against the enemy. They fought for control of the island. They were fighting over disputed land. We are fighting for equal rights. We need a good manager who is prepared to fight for a fair share of the funds. Campaigners fought to save the hospital from closure. Collins fought back to level the match at 2 sets all. Doctors fear he may never fight again following his injury in last night’s match. Four teams will fight it out in the play-offs. He’s still fighting for compensation after the accident. It was a hard fought campaign. She fought her attacker, eventually forcing him to flee. She fought tooth and nail to keep custody of the children. She’s fighting for a place in the national team. The country fought several wars against its neighbours. The organization fights on behalf of political prisoners across the world. The soldiers were trained to fight in the jungle. There are twelve parties fighting the election. We are committed to fighting poverty.Idioms
    fight your/somebody’s corner
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    (British English) to defend your/somebody’s position against other people
    to use similar methods in a fight or an argument to those your opponent is using to make a great effort to stay alive, especially when you are badly injured or seriously ill A young cyclist is fighting for his life after the accident. See related entries: Being ill a small chance of being successful if a great effort is made We still have a fighting chance of beating them and winning the Cup. If you win this round then you still have a fighting chance. extremely fit or healthy a feeling that you are ready to fight very hard for something or to try something difficult comments or remarks that show that you are ready to fight very hard for something What we want from the management is fighting talk. 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.
    fight shy of something/of doing something
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    to be unwilling to accept something or do something, and to try to avoid it Successive governments have fought shy of such measures.
    fight to the death/finish
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    to fight until one of the two people or groups is dead, or until one person or group defeats the other
    to fight in a very determined way for what you want The residents are fighting tooth and nail to stop the new development.
    live to fight another day
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    (saying) used to say that although you have failed or had a bad experience, you will continue
    Phrasal Verbsfight backfight back somethingfight off somebodyfight out something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fight