Wager Wa"ger, n. [OE. wager, wajour, OF. wagiere, or wageure, E. gageure. See Wage, v. t.] 1. Something deposited, laid, or hazarded on the event of a contest or an unsettled question; a bet; a stake; a pledge. Besides these plates for horse races, the wagers may be as the persons please. --Sir W. Temple. If any atheist can stake his soul for a wager against such an inexhaustible disproportion, let him never hereafter accuse others of credulity. --Bentley. 2. (Law) A contract by which two parties or more agree that a certain sum of money, or other thing, shall be paid or delivered to one of them, on the happening or not happening of an uncertain event. --Bouvier. Note: At common law a wager is considered as a legal contract which the courts must enforce unless it be on a subject contrary to public policy, or immoral, or tending to the detriment of the public, or affecting the interest, feelings, or character of a third person. In many of the United States an action can not be sustained upon any wager or bet. --Chitty. --Bouvier. 3. That on which bets are laid; the subject of a bet. Wager of battel, or Wager of battle (O. Eng. Law), the giving of gage, or pledge, for trying a cause by single combat, formerly allowed in military, criminal, and civil causes. In writs of right, where the trial was by champions, the tenant produced his champion, who, by throwing down his glove as a gage, thus waged, or stipulated, battle with the champion of the demandant, who, by taking up the glove, accepted the challenge. The wager of battel, which has been long in disuse, was abolished in England in 1819, by a statute passed in consequence of a defendant's having waged his battle in a case which arose about that period. See Battel. Wager of law (Law), the giving of gage, or sureties, by a defendant in an action of debt, that at a certain day assigned he would take a law, or oath, in open court, that he did not owe the debt, and at the same time bring with him eleven neighbors (called compurgators), who should avow upon their oaths that they believed in their consciences that he spoke the truth. Wager policy. (Insurance Law) See under Policy.
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. 2. A struggle; a contest; as, the battle of life. The whole intellectual battle that had at its center the best poem of the best poet of that day. --H. Morley. 3. A division of an army; a battalion. [Obs.] The king divided his army into three battles. --Bacon. The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every action. --Robertson. 4. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear; battalia. [Obs.] --Hayward. 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; battlearray; battle song. 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. 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.