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1. WordNet® 3.0 (2006)
battle royal
    n 1: a noisy riotous fight [syn: melee, scrimmage, battle
         royal]

2. The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48
Royal \Roy"al\, a. [OE. roial, riall, real, OF. roial. reial, F.
   royal, fr. L. regalis, fr. rex, regis, king. See Rich, and
   cf. regal, real a coin, Rial.]
   1. Kingly; pertaining to the crown or the sovereign; suitable
      for a king or queen; regal; as, royal power or
      prerogative; royal domains; the royal family; royal state.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. Noble; generous; magnificent; princely.
      [1913 Webster]

            How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio? --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. Under the patronage of royality; holding a charter granted
      by the sovereign; as, the Royal Academy of Arts; the Royal
      Society.
      [1913 Webster]

   Battle royal. See under Battle.

   Royal bay (Bot.), the classic laurel (Laurus nobilis.)

   Royal eagle. (Zool.) See Golden eagle, under Golden.

   Royal fern (Bot.), the handsome fern Osmunda regalis. See
      Osmund.

   Royal mast (Naut.), the mast next above the topgallant mast
      and usually the highest on a square-rigged vessel. The
      royal yard and royal sail are attached to the royal mast.
      

   Royal metal, an old name for gold.

   Royal palm (Bot.), a magnificent West Indian palm tree
      (Oreodoxa regia), lately discovered also in Florida.

   Royal pheasant. See Curassow.

   Royal purple, an intense violet color, verging toward blue.
      

   Royal tern (Zool.), a large, crested American tern (Sterna
      maxima).

   Royal tiger. (Zool.) See Tiger.

   Royal touch, the touching of a diseased person by the hand
      of a king, with the view of restoring to health; --
      formerly extensively practiced, particularly for the
      scrofula, or king's evil.
      [1913 Webster]

   Syn: Kingly; regal; monarchical; imperial; kinglike;
        princely; august; majestic; superb; splendid;
        illustrious; noble; magnanimous.
        [1913 Webster]

3. The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48
Battle \Bat"tle\, n. [OE. bataille, bataile, F. bataille battle,
   OF., battle, battalion, fr. L. battalia, battualia, the
   fighting and fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators,
   fr. batuere to strike, beat. Cf. Battalia, 1st Battel,
   and see Batter, v. t. ]
   1. A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the
      divisions of an army are or may be engaged; an engagement;
      a combat.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. A struggle; a contest; as, the battle of life.
      [1913 Webster]

            The whole intellectual battle that had at its center
            the best poem of the best poet of that day. --H.
                                                  Morley.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. A division of an army; a battalion. [Obs.]
      [1913 Webster]

            The king divided his army into three battles.
                                                  --Bacon.
      [1913 Webster]

            The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the
            battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every
            action.                               --Robertson.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear;
      battalia. [Obs.] --Hayward.
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: Battle is used adjectively or as the first part of a
         self-explaining compound; as, battle brand, a "brand"
         or sword used in battle; battle cry; battlefield;
         battle ground; battle array; battle song.
         [1913 Webster]

   Battle piece, a painting, or a musical composition,
      representing a battle.

   Battle royal.
      (a) A fight between several gamecocks, where the one that
          stands longest is the victor. --Grose.
      (b) A contest with fists or cudgels in which more than two
          are engaged; a m[^e]l['e]e. --Thackeray.

   Drawn battle, one in which neither party gains the victory.
      

   To give battle, to attack an enemy.

   To join battle, to meet the attack; to engage in battle.

   Pitched battle, one in which the armies are previously
      drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the
      forces.

   Wager of battle. See under Wager, n.
      [1913 Webster]

   Syn: Conflict; encounter; contest; action.

   Usage: Battle, Combat, Fight, Engagement. These words
          agree in denoting a close encounter between contending
          parties. Fight is a word of less dignity than the
          others. Except in poetry, it is more naturally applied
          to the encounter of a few individuals, and more
          commonly an accidental one; as, a street fight. A
          combat is a close encounter, whether between few or
          many, and is usually premeditated. A battle is
          commonly more general and prolonged. An engagement
          supposes large numbers on each side, engaged or
          intermingled in the conflict.
          [1913 Webster]

Thesaurus Results for Battle royal:

1. Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
action, aerial combat, affray, armored combat, battle, brush, bullfight, clash, clash of arms, cockfight, combat, conflict, dogfight, embroilment, exchange of blows, fight, fire fight, fray, ground combat, hand-to-hand combat, hand-to-hand fight, house-to-house combat, naval combat, passage of arms, pitched battle, quarrel, rumble, running fight, scramble, scrimmage, scuffle, shoving match, skirmish, stand-up fight, street fight, struggle, tauromachy, tug-of-war, tussle
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