fight

Definitions

General English

  • noun an occasion on which people try to hurt each other or knock each other down
  • noun a situation in which people do everything they can to stop something from happening
  • verb to be involved in a situation in which people try to hurt each other or knock each other down
  • verb to do everything you can try to stop something from happening

Military

  • verb to use physical force against another person, army, etc., in order to defend yourself or to inflict injury

Origin & History of “fight”

The deadly earnestness of fighting seems to have had its etymological origins in the rather petty act of pulling someone’s hair. Fight, together with German fechten and Dutch vechten, goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *fekhtan, which appears to come from the same ultimate source as Latin pectere ‘comb’ and Greek péko ‘comb’. The missing links in the apparently far-fetched semantic chain between ‘fighting’ and ‘combing’ are provided by such words as Spanish pelear ‘fight, quarrel’, a derivative of pelo ‘hair’, which originally meant ‘pull hair’; German raufen ‘pull out, pluck’, which when used reflexively means ‘fight’; and English tussle, which originally meant ‘pull roughly’, and may be related to tousle.
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