"fight or hostile engagement between opposing forces," c. 1300, from Old French bataille "battle, single combat," also "inner turmoil, harsh circumstances; army, body of soldiers," from Late Latin battualia "exercise of soldiers and gladiators in fighting and fencing," from Latin battuere "to beat, to strike" (see batter (v.)).
Battle-cry is from 1812; battle-flagfrom 1840; battle-scarred is from 1848. Phrase battle royal "fight involving several combatants" is from 1670s.
early 14c., "the defeat of an adversary;" mid-14c., "subjugation or conquering by an armed force," from Old French conquest "acquisition" (Modern French conquêt), and Old French conqueste "conquest, acquisition" (Modern French conquête), also from Medieval Latin conquistus, conquista, all ultimately from the past participle of Vulgar Latin *conquaerere "to search for, procure by effort, win" (see conquer). From late 14c. with specific reference to the acquisition of power in England by William Duke of Normandy.
1540s (late 13c. as a surname), "one who flees or departs; a fugitive, deserter," from the verbal phrase run away "flee in the face of danger" (late 14c.); see run (v.) + away (adv.). From c. 1600 as "horse which bolts while being driven or ridden," later extended to railway trains, etc. The meaning "an act of running away" is from 1724.
As an adjective, "acting the part of a runaway, escaping from restraint or control," 1540s; in modern use especially of conditions, forces, reactions, etc., from 1925.
By CATASTROPHISM I mean any form of geological speculation which, in order to account for the phenomena of geology, supposes the operation of forces different in their nature, or immeasurably different in power, from those which we at present see in action in the universe. [Huxley, "Address" to the Geological Society of London, Feb. 19, 1869]
mid-15c., "action of flowing," from flow (v.). Meaning "amount that flows" is from 1807. Sense of "any strong, progressive movement comparable to the flow of a river" is from 1640s. Flow chart attested from 1920 (flow-sheet in same sense from 1912). To go with the flow is by 1977, apparently originally in skiing jargon.
Go with the flow, enjoy the forces, let ankles, knees, hips and waist move subtly to soak up potential disturbances of acceleration and deceleration. [Ski magazine, November 1980]
Most Indo-European words for "personal enemy" cover also "enemy in war," but certain languages have special terms for the latter, such as Greek polemioi (distinct from ekhthroi), Latin hostis, originally "stranger" (distinct from inimicus), Russian neprijatel' (distinct from vrag). Russian vrag (Old Church Slavonic vragu) is cognate with Lithuanian vargas "misery" (see urge (v.)), and probably is related to Proto-Germanic *wargoz, source of Old Norse vargr "outlaw," hence "wolf;" Icelandic vargur "fox;" Old English wearg "criminal, felon;" which likely were the inspirations for J.R.R. Tolkien's warg as the name of a kind of large ferocious wolf in "The Hobbit" (1937) and "Lord of the Rings." Related: Enemies.
Of physical forces (magnets, etc.), from 17c. Figurative sense of "be attractive, draw to oneself the eyes or attentions of others" is from 1690s. Related: Attracted; attracting.