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  • Melee is combat which occurs using attacks that can only be administered at short range
  • A melee weapon is a weapon which is utilized by striking at a short range and the weapon remains in your hand.

An example would be two combatants fighting with swords. It could be said of these combatants:

  • They are fighting a melee. (A combatant involving short ranged attacks.)
  • They are in melee. (The act of being engaged in a melee)
  • They are fighting at melee range. (The range at which a melee occurs).
  • They are fighting with melee weapons. (Weapons designed for use in a melee)

A melee can exist when only one party is using a weapon employed at melee range. For example, if a bowman and swordsman were fighting and the fight was being conducted at sword range, they would be in melee even if the bowman continued to employ the ranged weapon.

However, if two bowmen were fighting at a short distance, it could be said:

  • They are fighting ranged combat. (Combats are using ranged weapons to conduct the conflict.)
  • They are in ranged combat. (The act of being engaged in a combat at range.)
  • They are fighting at melee range. (The range at which the conflict is occurring.)
  • They are fighting with ranged weapons. (Weapons designed for use at range.)

Melee weapon on Wikipedia (inclusive list of melee weapons )

Melee weapons in games inclusive D&D