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fight definition


This page has 17 definitions of fight in English and Swedish. Fight is a verb and noun. Examples of how to use fight in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English fight definition

Fight (brawl)

Etymology 1

From Middle English fighten, from Old English feohtan (to fight, combat, strive), from Proto-West Germanic *fehtan, from Proto-Germanic *fehtaną (to comb, tease, shear, struggle with), from Proto-Indo-European *peḱ- (to comb, shear).

Cognate with Scots fecht (to fight), West Frisian fjochtsje, fjuchte (to fight), Dutch vechten (to fight), Low German fechten (to fight), German fechten (to fight, fence), Swedish fäkta (to fence, to fight (using blade weapons), to wave vigorously (and carelessly) with one's arms), Latin pectō (comb, thrash, verb), Albanian pjek (to hit, strive, fight), Ancient Greek πέκω (pékō, comb or card wool, verb). Related also to Old English feht (wool, shaggy pelt, fleece).



fight (third-person singular simple present fights, present participle fighting, simple past fought, past participle fought or (archaic) foughten)

  1. Senses relating to physical conflict:
    1. (transitive) To engage in combat with; to oppose physically, to contest with.
      My grandfather fought the Nazis in World War II.
    2. (transitive) To conduct or engage in (battle, warfare etc.).
      Our soldiers fought the battle just over that hill.
    3. (intransitive) To contend in physical conflict, either singly or in war, battle etc.
      A wounded animal will fight tooth and nail; relentless, savage and murderous.
    4. (reciprocal) To contend in physical conflict with each other, either singly or in war, battle etc.
      The two boxers have been fighting for more than half an hour.
    5. (causative, archaic) To cause to fight; to manage or manoeuvre in a fight.
      to fight cocks; to fight one's ship
  2. (intransitive) To strive for something; to campaign or contend for success.
    He fought for the Democrats in the last election.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, 1 Timothy 6:12:
      Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Old Applegate, in the stern, just set and looked at me, and Lord James, amidship, waved both arms and kept hollering for help. I took a couple of everlasting big strokes and managed to grab hold of the skiff's rail, close to the stern. Then, for a jiffy, I hung on and fought for breath.
    • 2014 July 5, “Freedom fighter”, in The Economist, volume 412, number 8894:
      [Edmund] Burke continued to fight for liberty later on in life. He backed Americans in their campaign for freedom from British taxation. He supported Catholic freedoms and freer trade with Ireland, in spite of his constituents’ ire. He wanted more liberal laws on the punishment of debtors.
  3. (transitive) To try to overpower; to fiercely counteract.
    The government pledged to fight corruption.
    • 2014, Ann Aguirre, The Shape of My Heart, page 42:
      I fought a sneeze as Max took my hand and led me into the chapel.
  4. (intransitive) Of colours or other design elements: to clash; to fail to harmonize.
    • 2013, Ian G. Clifton, Android User Interface Design:
      The higher the saturation, the more the colors fight, and the more users will be looking at your design instead of your content.
Usage notes
  • The reciprocal sense of "fight" is a common ellision of the phrase "fight each other", since context provides the meaning. "Each other" is commonly used with other verbs for an explicit reciprocal sense.
  • The reciprocal sense of "fight", which refers to two entities fighting each other, contrasts with the reflexive sense of the word "infight", which refers to entities of a group fighting each other.
Derived terms
Terms derived from fight (verb)
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2

From Middle English fight, feyght, fiȝt, fecht, from Old English feoht, ġefeoht, from Proto-West Germanic *fehtan, from Proto-Germanic *fehtą, *gafehtą (fight, struggle), from Proto-Germanic *fehtaną (to struggle with). Cognate with Dutch gevecht, German Gefecht.


fight (countable and uncountable, plural fights)

  1. An occasion of fighting.
    One of them got stuck in a chokehold and got stabbed to death during the fight.
  2. (archaic) A battle between opposing armies.
  3. A physical confrontation or combat between two or more people or groups.
    Watch your language! Are you looking for a fight?
  4. (sports) A boxing or martial arts match.
    I'm going to Nick’s to watch the big fight tomorrow night.
  5. A conflict, possibly nonphysical, with opposing ideas or forces; strife.
    I'll put up a fight to save this company.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 18, in The China Governess[1]:
      ‘Then the father has a great fight with his terrible conscience,’ said Munday with granite seriousness. ‘Should he make a row with the police […]? Or should he say nothing about it and condone brutality for fear of appearing in the newspapers?
    • 2013 August 10, “A new prescription”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      As the world's drug habit shows, governments are failing in their quest to monitor every London window-box and Andean hillside for banned plants. But even that Sisyphean task looks easy next to the fight against synthetic drugs.
  6. (uncountable) The will or ability to fight.
    That little guy has a bit of fight in him after all.   As soon as he saw the size of his opponent, all the fight went out of him.
  7. (obsolete) A screen for the combatants in ships; an arming.
    • 1673 May (first performance), John Dryden, Amboyna. A Tragedy. [], London: [] T[homas] N[ewcomb] for Henry Herringman, [], published 1673, →OCLC, Act III, page 31:
      Who ever ſaw a noble ſight, / That never view'd a brave Sea Fight: / Hang up your bloody Colours in the Aire, / Up with your Fights, and your Nettings prepare, / Your Merry Mates chear, with a luſty bold ſpright, / Now each Man his brindice, and then to the Fight, []
Derived terms
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Swedish fight definition

Alternative forms


Borrowed from English fight. Attested since 1931.


fight c

  1. (colloquial) a fight (often in sports or of an argument)


Declension of fight 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative fight fighten fighter fighterna
Genitive fights fightens fighters fighternas

Related terms