Bat"tle (?), a. Fertile. See
Battel, a. [Obs.]
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.
2. A struggle; a contest; as, the battle of
The whole intellectual battle that had at its center
the best poem of the best poet of that day.
3. A division of an army; a battalion.
The king divided his army into three battles.
The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the
battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every action.
4. The main body, as distinct from the van and
rear; battalia. [Obs.] Hayward.
☞ 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.
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
mêlée. 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
Syn. -- Conflict; encounter; contest; action. 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
Bat"tle (băt"t'l), v. i. [imp.
& p. p. Battled (-tl'd); p. pr. & vb. n.
Battling.] [F. batailler, fr. bataille. See
Battle, n.] To join in battle; to contend in
fight; as, to battle over theories.
To meet in arms, and battle in the plain.
Bat"tle, v. t. To assail in battle; to