early 14c., "to fight," from French batailler (12c.), from bataille (see battle (n.)). Related: Battled; battling.
"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.
also battle-ship, "powerful warship designed to fight in a line of battle," 1794, shortened from line-of-battle ship (1705), a ship of the line, one large enough to take part in a main attack (formerly one of 74-plus guns); from battle (n.) + ship (n.). Later in the U.S. Navy it was used of a class of ships that carried guns of the largest size. They were rendered obsolete by seaborne air power and guided missiles; the last in the U.S. Navy was decommissioned in 2006. Battleship-gray as a color is attested from 1916. Fighter and bomber airplanes in World War I newspaper articles sometimes were called battleplanes, but it did not catch.
fem. proper name, German, literally "battle-maid," from fem. of Old High German hild "war, battle, fight, combat," from Proto-Germanic *hildiz "battle" (source also of Old English (poetic) hild "war, battle," Old Saxon hild, Old High German hilt, Old Norse hildr), from PIE *keldh-, from root *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt). Hild-/-hild was a common Germanic name-forming element; compare Hildebrand, Brunhild, Matilda.
Old English hild figured widely in kenning compounds: Hildbedd "deathbed;" hildegicel "blood dripping from a sword," literally "battle-icicle;" hildenædre "arrow, lance, spear," literally "war-adder;" hildesæd "weary of fighting, battle-worn," literally "battle-sad."
word-forming element meaning "battle, war, contest, fighting, warfare," from Latinized form of Greek -makhia, from makhē "a battle, fight," related to makhesthai "to fight." Beekes suspects it is from an isolated root, perhaps Pre-Greek: "In the domain of fighting and battle, old inherited expressions can hardly be expected."
surname, attested from late 13c. (Gilbert Kelehog), literally "kill hog," a name for a butcher (compare kill-buck, a medieval surname, also noted as a term of contempt for a butcher). The U.S. cereal company began in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1906, founded by W.K. Kellogg (1860-1951), business manager of the Battle Creek Sanatorium, as Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company.