(in wartime) a period of apparent calm and inactivity, esp the period at the beginning of World War II
(in peacetime) a contrived embattled atmosphere; mock war
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
How to use phony war in a sentence
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert alleges his successor Benjamin Netanyahu spent billions preparing for a phony war.Explosive Allegations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu | Dan Ephron | January 16, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
So we are back to where we were and the phony war has been, from Labour's perspective, a fruitless exercise.
Today: godless Senate candidates, phony war heroes, and lying children.