The Meaning of CQB: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the abbreviation CQB means? This article will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the slang term CQB, including its definition, usage, and more!

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What does the acronym CQB stand for?

According to Combatives and Military, CQB most often stands for Close Quarters Battle. This is a confrontation between two or more opponents or combatants at very short range, usually up to 100 feet. Close quarters battle can take place between police and criminals, different military units, or other similar opponents.

Usually, this can consist of hand to hand combat or a close quarter battle with short-range firearms, like if police are holding their guns up to a fugitive at a short range. Close quarters combat necessitates proficiency with weapons and quick thinking. This is no time for a relaxed military strategy, but rather thinking on one’s feet and being able to make fast, strategic decisions to protect yourself. 

There are certain combatives groups that utilize CQB to be effective in real life situations in order to train civilians. These programs might be focused on striking with basic physical weapons, because that is all the civilian will have at their disposal. Different programs that teach CQB might be referred to as civilian combatives, or at a more professional self defense level including throwing, dislocating, choking and strangling, a professional combatives program. Special forces and special operations groups might also go through CQB training.

According to Acronym Finder and The Free Dictionary, the acronym CQB also has a couple of other meanings, though these are less common. If you plan on using the acronym CQB to mean one of these other definitions, you should ensure the context is clear, as one will likely assume you mean “close quarters battle” depending on the context. Whenever you use an acronym, make sure the other person will know what you are talking about.

  • Central Question Bank (aviation exam)
  • Crazy Quilt Bouquet (band; UK)
  • Comité de Quartier de Borderouge (French: Borderouge District Committee; Borderouge, France)

How can the acronym CQB be used in a sentence?

The acronym CQB can be used to refer to any sort of close range battle, as the term is fairly general. The term is usually used to refer to certain military operations or to a battle between law enforcement and criminals. In this first example, Linda is talking to her coworker Lisbeth about her son Tony, who is in the military.

Lisbeth: Linda, what does your son do again?

Linda: He is in the military; the Army, specifically.

Lisbeth: Wow. You must be very proud. What does he specialize in?

Linda: He does the scary stuff. A lot of CQB, which makes me really nervous. But this is his last year, and then he’s going to go to college.

Lisbeth: That’s great.

Here, Linds uses CQB to refer to the type of battle her son does in the military. In this next example, Linda’s husband Mike is watching the news. Linda comes home from work.

Linda: What are you watching? I could hear shouting and gunshots all the way from the driveway.

Mike: Police got this guy surrounded. He’s trying to rob an Arby’s. They’re moving in, preparing for some CQB. I don’t know how this guy thinks he’s going to get out of it – or how much money he could possibly steal from an Arby’s.

Linda: Maybe it’s not about the money, maybe it’s about the meat.

Mike: Hey, fair enough!

Here, Mike uses the term CQB to refer to the distance at which police are battling with the man who is trying to hold up the Arby’s restaurant. The police have him surrounded at a very close range. 

What are synonyms or related acronyms to CQB?

There are few different acronyms that closely relate to the acronym CQB. These can be considered synonyms because they have a very similar meaning to the acronym CQB.

The first is the acronym CQC, which stands for close quarters combat. This term is often used interchangeably with the acronym CQB. This abbreviation was first used by the British Military command. Like CQB, CQC is covered by impact weapons, edged weapons and adapted weapons. Adapted weapons are weapons made from everyday items, like a kitchen knife used to ward off an assailant, for example. CQB and CQC refer to armed-offense utilizing firearms. 

Another similar acronym to CQB is H2H, which stands for hand to hand combat. This is a more specific term than CQB, because it designates combat in which two soldiers or opponents are physically battling each other, whether with fists and bare hands, or with close-range weapons, like a dagger. 

There is also close overlap with urban warfare, though the two are not necessarily synonymous. Military organizations sometimes refer to this as MOUT, which stands for military operations in urban terrain, FIBUA, which stands for fighting in built-up areas, or OBUA, which stands for operations in built-up areas. Urban warfare is considered a much larger field in which heavy machine guns, mortars, and mounted grenade launchers might be used. While urban warfare may utilize CQB that is fought with compact weapons like carbines, submachine guns, shotguns, pistols, knives, or bayonets, it is a much broader term that cannot be used interchangeably with acronyms such as H2H, CQC and CQB.

Overall, the acronym CQB most often stands for close quarters battle. This is a term that is used by the military, government, and police to describe warfare or confrontation that takes place at a very close range, usually less than 100 feet or 30 meters. Other related acronyms include CQC, which stands for close quarters combat, CQF, which stands for close combat fighting, and H2H, which stands for hand to hand.