Combatants

(redirected from combatant)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to combatant: Enemy combatant, noncombatant

Combatants

 

the ones who are fighting; in international law, persons belonging to the armed forces of a warring side and directly engaged in combat action. Included as combatants are members of military militias, volunteer detachments, and resistance movements, as well as members of the population who have spontaneously taken up arms on the approach of an enemy. Participants in civil wars and wars of national liberation are considered combatants if they have a commander, bear arms openly, and observe the rules and customs of warfare in their actions.

Noncombatants include military journalists, supply and other service personnel, military law and medical personnel, and worker teams. Noncombatants are protected by the rules and customs of war if they have identification issued by appropriate military authorities. Violating the rules concerning combatants and noncombatants is considered an international crime, and persons guilty of such violation are looked upon as war criminals.

References in classic literature ?
But, in general, the ladies around encouraged the combatants, not only by clapping their hands and waving their veils and kerchiefs, but even by exclaiming,
The scouts departed; strong guards preceded and followed the lumbering vehicles that bore the baggage; and before the gray light of the morning was mellowed by the rays of the sun, the main body of the combatants wheeled into column, and left the encampment with a show of high military bearing, that served to drown the slumbering apprehensions of many a novice, who was now about to make his first essay in arms.
And the nine combatants rushed upon each other with a fury which however did not exclude a certain degree of method.
Meanwhile, the massacre continued on both sides, with battle-axes and war-clubs; as quickly as one of the combatants fell, a hostile warrior ran up to cut off his head, while the women, mingling in the fray, gathered up these bloody trophies, and piled them together at either extremity of the battle-field.
The combatants advanced along the trodden tracks, nearer and nearer to one another, beginning to see one another through the mist.
That David continuing to rejoice exceedingly in his word, the father spoke darkly of a cane, but the mother rushed between the combatants.
For a while the man and woman busied themselves only with keeping out of the way of the two creatures, but finally I saw them separate and each creep stealthily toward one of the combatants.
The small combatants pounded and kicked, scratched and tore.
When peace was proclaimed, his deceitful conduct was apparent to both combatants.
Here the two combatants drew their swords and threw off their doublets, for neither had any defensive armor.
I should not have wondered by this time to find that they had their respective musical bands stationed on some eminent chip, and playing their national airs the while, to excite the slow and cheer the dying combatants.
Thus was the debate interrupted; but it would probably have been soon resumed, had not Mr Allworthy presently called for his coach, and carried off the two combatants.