Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

fight - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     fight pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefighting
past tensefought
past participlefought
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if people fight, they use guns or other weapons against each other

    These men had fought the Japanese in the Second World War.

    fight against:

    The French had no desire to fight against the British.

    fight for:

    We believed we were fighting for freedom and democracy.

    fight to do something:

    Allied troops fought to liberate the city.

    fight a war/battle:

    The terrorists claim that they are fighting a just war.

    fight bravely/valiantly/hard:

    The young soldiers fought valiantly but were soon defeated.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] if people or animals fight, they hit, kick, or bite each other
    fight with:

    Protesters fought with the police outside the Embassy building.

    fight over:

    Children fought over scraps of food.

    fight to the death:

    Male lions rarely fight to the death over females.

    1. a.
      to hit someone as part of a sport, especially boxing
      fight someone for something:

      He hopes to fight the champion for the world title.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to disagree or argue about something
    fight over:

    Look, I don’t want to fight over this.

    fight about:

    What are you two fighting about now?

  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] to try very hard to prevent something from happening or getting worse
    fight against:

    All her life she fought against racism.

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to try in a very determined way to achieve something

    The survivors have fought a ten-year battle for justice.

    fight to do something:

    Local campaigners are fighting to save the hospital from closure.

    fight for:

    Many of the injured are still fighting for compensation.

  6. 6
    [transitive] to try very hard not to show a feeling or not to do something you want to do
    fight the urge/impulse/desire:

    She fought the urge to run after him.

  7. 7
    [intransitive/transitive] to compete in order to win something or get something

    Our party is ready to fight an election at any time.

    fight for:

    Four teams will be fighting for a place in the final.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play