Combat is purposeful physical conflict involving violence.
Combat is usually used to describe people's actions during warfare. However, the term can be used generically to describe any destructive conflict.
- Combat that is not part of warfare is just commonly called fighting.
- Combat Violence can be unilateral, while fighting implies a reaction, at least a defensive one.
- Combat may be armed or unarmed (meaning with or without weapons).
- Combat may take place under a certain set of rules or be unregulated. Examples of rules include the Geneva Convention, the code of the Knights of the Round Table, and the Marquess of Queensberry rules.
Combat in warfare involves two or more parties of soldiers. Combat is distinguished from other forms of violence in that civilians are not deliberately targeted in place of military installations and troop formations. Collateral damage is used, by some, to refer to civilians killed in military operations against military installations and troop formations.
Deliberate targeting of civilians, by military or paramilitary groups is discussed in terrorism, genocide, and war.
Hand-to-hand combat is combat at very close range, touching the opponent with the body (striking, kicking, strangling, etc.) or with a weapon, e.g. a knife, baton, etc., as opposed to firing or throwing a projectile.
See also: battle, weapon, military tactics, duel, martial arts
Combat! was also the name of an American television program that aired on ABC from 1962 until 1967.
Combat was an early dedicated video game console by Coleco (called Telstar Combat!) in 1977 featuring battling tanks. A better known battling tanks game with almost the same name was also available as a video game for the Atari 2600 later that year. See Combat.