"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-flag from 1840; battle-scarred is from 1848. Phrase battle royal "fight involving several combatants" is from 1670s.
early 14c., "to fight," from French batailler (12c.), from bataille (see battle (n.)). Related: Battled; battling.
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