Combat is a purposeful violent conflict meant to weaken, establish dominance over, or kill the opposition, or to drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed.
Combat is typically between opposing military forces in warfare. Combat violence can be unilateral, whereas fighting implies at least a defensive reaction. A large-scale fight is known as a battle. A verbal fight is commonly known as an argument.
Combat effectiveness, in the strategic field, requires combat readiness. In military areas, the term is applied also to personnel, that has to receive proper training and be qualified to carry out combat operations in the unit to which they are assigned.


Combat may take place under a specific set of rules or unregulated. Examples of rules include the Geneva Conventions, medieval chivalry, the Marquess of Queensberry rules and several forms of combat sports.
, 19th century.
Combat in warfare involves two or more opposing military organizations, usually fighting for nations at war. Warfare falls under the laws of war, which govern its purposes and conduct, and protect the rights of combatants and non-combatants.
Combat may be armed or unarmed. Hand-to-hand combat is combat at very close range, attacking the opponent with the body and/or with a melee weapon, as opposed to a ranged weapon.
Hand-to-hand combat can be further divided into three sections depending on the distance and positioning of the combatants: