Definition of hors de combat in English:

hors de combat

adjective

  • Out of action due to injury or damage.

    ‘their pilots had been rendered temporarily hors de combat’
    • ‘These persons hors de combat are the wounded and sick, shipwrecked, prisoners of war and civilians.’
    • ‘As many cases may arise, all of which it is impossible to meet specifically, I propose the following additional articles based upon the single general principle that combattants naufrauges, being ipso facto combatants hors de combat, are incapable of serving again during the war, unless recaptured or until duly exchanged.’
    • ‘If so, they are not hors de combat and not protected from attack.’
    • ‘The Geneva Conventions impose on those that become hors de combat the obligation to cease all combatant actions.’
    • ‘International humanitarian law explicitly permits warring parties to engage in certain acts regardless of whether they happen to cause hors de combat enemy personnel to experience feelings of humiliation.’
    • ‘The first two conventions cover members of armed forces involved in a conflict who are no longer able to fight (hors de combat is the legal term).’
    • ‘Bassett shows that de Selby was hors de combat from his long-standing gall-bladder disorders at least immediately before the passages were composed.’
    • ‘From the perspective of the customary rule as stated by the ICRC, it is not clear whether the WP munitions were being used to render insurgents hors de combat.’
    • ‘They are hors de combat, literally, out of combat, until such time as they take a hostile action such as attempting to escape.’
    • ‘7.1 Persons not, or no longer, taking part in military operations, including civilians, members of armed forces who have laid down their weapons and persons placed hors de combat by reason of sickness, wounds or detention, shall, in all circumstances, be treated humanely and without any adverse distinction based on race, sex, religious convictions or any other ground.’
    ill, unwell, sick, on the sick list, infirm, poorly, ailing, not well, not very well, not oneself, not in good shape, out of sorts, not up to par, below par, under par
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Origin

French, literally ‘out of the fight’.

Pronunciation

hors de combat

/ˌɔː də ˈkɒ̃bɑː/