Definition of line of battle in US English:

line of battle

noun

  • 1A disposition of troops for action in battle.

    • ‘By 1901 he was already involved in an avant-garde movement in Munich called ‘Phalanx’ 1, i.e. the line of battle between the old guard and the new one.’
    • ‘They often reported direct to a division, tended to fight as skirmishers, not in the line of battle, and wore the regulation infantry uniform, but in dark green cloth.’
    • ‘They were advancing in line of battle instead of a column, knew that the officers were sure someone was out there, and they were about to find them.’
    • ‘Once in the English Channel the Armada arrayed itself in a defensive formation, much like an army in line of battle.’
    • ‘The newly reorganized regiment was brought into line of battle two days later.’
    • ‘The dogs wore spiked collars and armor; unleashed in the forward line of battle, they attacked the enemies' legs, causing them to lower their shields and be more vulnerable to attack.’
    • ‘The most important innovation was the dismissal of cavalry from the line of battle.’
    • ‘The squadron is airborne and moving swiftly toward the line of battle.’
    • ‘For example, Lee's placement of his line of battle on the eastern bank of the Potomac River is a tactical disposition adopted for operational and strategic considerations.’
    • ‘Elsewhere overseas, female nurses in military field hospitals worked near the front line of battle, and many served with allied forces.’
    • ‘After passing through a very heavy shelling for 20 minutes we rested and then formed a line of battle.’
    • ‘Every enrolled man served in the line of battle and was self-contained.’
    • ‘She slowly walked into the room as if she were a brave soldier marching to the front line of battle.’
    1. 1.1historical A battle formation of warships in line ahead (one behind another).
      • ‘The British, in two lines according to Nelson's instructions, sailed to cut the enemy's line of battle.’
      • ‘His plan was to advance on the Franco Spanish fleets in two divisions, break their lines, and destroy them piecemeal, thus abandoning the traditional rigid tactic of fighting in line of battle.’