1560s, "a fight," originally especially "a fight between two armed persons" (later distinguished as single combat, 1620s), also in a general sense of "any struggle or fight between opposing forces," from Middle French combat (see combat (v.)).
1560s, "to fight, struggle, contend" (intransitive), from Middle French combat (16c.), from Old French combattre (12c.), from Late Latin combattere, from Latin com "with (each other)," see com-, + battuere "to beat, fight" (see batter (v.)). Transitive sense is from 1580s; figurative sense from 1620s. Related: Combated; combating; combatted; combatting.
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