To give battle
Battle Bat"tle, n. [OE. bataille, bataile, F. bataille battle, OF., battle, battalion, fr. L. battalia, battualia, the fighting and fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators, fr. batuere to strike, beat. Cf. {Battalia}, 1st {Battel}, and see {Batter}, v. t. ] 1. A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the divisions of an army are or may be engaged; an engagement; a combat. [1913 Webster]

2. A struggle; a contest; as, the battle of life. [1913 Webster]

The whole intellectual battle that had at its center the best poem of the best poet of that day. --H. Morley. [1913 Webster]

3. A division of an army; a battalion. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

The king divided his army into three battles. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every action. --Robertson. [1913 Webster]

4. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear; battalia. [Obs.] --Hayward. [1913 Webster]

Note: Battle is used adjectively or as the first part of a self-explaining compound; as, battle brand, a ``brand'' or sword used in battle; battle cry; battlefield; battle ground; battle array; battle song. [1913 Webster]

{Battle piece}, a painting, or a musical composition, representing a battle.

{Battle royal}. (a) A fight between several gamecocks, where the one that stands longest is the victor. --Grose. (b) A contest with fists or cudgels in which more than two are engaged; a m[^e]l['e]e. --Thackeray.

{Drawn battle}, one in which neither party gains the victory.

{To give battle}, to attack an enemy.

{To join battle}, to meet the attack; to engage in battle.

{Pitched battle}, one in which the armies are previously drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the forces.

{Wager of battle}. See under {Wager}, n. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Conflict; encounter; contest; action.

Usage: {Battle}, {Combat}, {Fight}, {Engagement}. These words agree in denoting a close encounter between contending parties. Fight is a word of less dignity than the others. Except in poetry, it is more naturally applied to the encounter of a few individuals, and more commonly an accidental one; as, a street fight. A combat is a close encounter, whether between few or many, and is usually premeditated. A battle is commonly more general and prolonged. An engagement supposes large numbers on each side, engaged or intermingled in the conflict. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To join battle — Battle Bat tle, n. [OE. bataille, bataile, F. bataille battle, OF., battle, battalion, fr. L. battalia, battualia, the fighting and fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators, fr. batuere to strike, beat. Cf. {Battalia}, 1st {Battel}, and see… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To wage battle — Wage Wage, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Waged}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Waging}.] [OE. wagen, OF. wagier, gagier, to pledge, promise, F. gager to wager, lay, bet, fr. LL. wadium a pledge; of Teutonic origin; cf. Goth. wadi a pledge, gawadj[=o]n to pledge, akin… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To give a person line — Line Line, n. [OE. line, AS. l[=i]ne cable, hawser, prob. from L. linea a linen thread, string, line, fr. linum flax, thread, linen, cable; but the English word was influenced by F. ligne line, from the same L. word linea. See {Linen}.] 1. A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To give order — Order Or der, n. [OE. ordre, F. ordre, fr. L. ordo, ordinis. Cf. {Ordain}, {Ordinal}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Regular arrangement; any methodical or established succession or harmonious relation; method; system; as: (a) Of material things, like the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To give quarter — Quarter Quar ter (kw[aum]r t[ e]r), n. [F. quartier, L. quartarius a fourth part, fr. quartus the fourth. See {Quart}.] 1. One of four equal parts into which anything is divided, or is regarded as divided; a fourth part or portion; as, a quarter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To give ground — ground ground (ground), n. [OE. ground, grund, AS. grund; akin to D. grond, OS., G., Sw., & Dan. grund, Icel. grunnr bottom, Goth. grundus (in composition); perh. orig. meaning, dust, gravel, and if so perh. akin to E. grind.] 1. The surface of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Battle of Malplaquet — Part of the War of the Spanish Succession Battle of Malplaquet, view from the allied side …   Wikipedia

  • Battle — Bat tle, n. [OE. bataille, bataile, F. bataille battle, OF., battle, battalion, fr. L. battalia, battualia, the fighting and fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators, fr. batuere to strike, beat. Cf. {Battalia}, 1st {Battel}, and see {Batter} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Battle piece — Battle Bat tle, n. [OE. bataille, bataile, F. bataille battle, OF., battle, battalion, fr. L. battalia, battualia, the fighting and fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators, fr. batuere to strike, beat. Cf. {Battalia}, 1st {Battel}, and see… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Battle royal — Battle Bat tle, n. [OE. bataille, bataile, F. bataille battle, OF., battle, battalion, fr. L. battalia, battualia, the fighting and fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators, fr. batuere to strike, beat. Cf. {Battalia}, 1st {Battel}, and see… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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