a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
a state or period of armed hostility or active military operations: The two nations were at war with each other.
a contest carried on by force of arms, as in a series of battles or campaigns: the War of 1812.
armed fighting, as a science, profession, activity, or art; methods or principles of waging armed conflict: War is the soldier's business.
aggressive business conflict, as through severe price cutting in the same industry or any other means of undermining competitors: a fare war among airlines; a trade war between nations.
a struggle to achieve a goal: the war on cancer;a war against poverty;a war for hearts and minds.
a game for two or more persons, played with a 52-card pack evenly divided between the players, in which each player turns up one card at a time with the higher card taking the lower, and in which, when both turned up cards match, each player lays one card face down and turns up another, the player with the higher card of the second turn taking all the cards laid down.
an occasion in this game when both turned up cards match.
Archaic. a battle.
to make or carry on war; fight: to war with a neighboring nation.
to carry on active hostility or contention: Throughout her life she warred with sin and corruption.
to be in conflict or in a state of strong opposition: The temptation warred with his conscience.
of, belonging to, used in, or due to war: war preparations; war hysteria.
- war , wore
Other definitions for war (2 of 3)
Other definitions for war. (3 of 3)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use war in a sentence
In a distant, war-torn land, there were 13 castles — three more than the usual 10 from prior battles.
Much of Silicon Valley, in a hyperbolically named “war for talent,” followed suit.The complaints of the entitled workers of Silicon Valley | Adam Lashinsky | September 8, 2020 | Fortune
When the war ended, however, those ceilings were lifted, and unsurprisingly the price of meat skyrocketed.Why meat could be top of mind for voters in the upcoming election | jakemeth | September 5, 2020 | Fortune
Mulan’s elderly father is being called away to war, and he has no son to go in his place.The history of Mulan, from a 6th-century ballad to the live-action Disney movie | Constance Grady | September 4, 2020 | Vox
Baggott doesn’t end the fight but puts it in context by digging up the family feuds which started the war.Your Guide to the Many Meanings of Quantum Mechanics - Facts So Romantic | Sabine Hossenfelder | September 3, 2020 | Nautilus
They are, to say the least, preparing for civil war (the polling stations are stormed by armed gangs).Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President | Pierre Assouline | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
But what is there more irresponsible than playing with the fire of an imagined civil war in the France of today?Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President | Pierre Assouline | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Cold war fears could be manipulated through misleading art to attract readers to daunting material.
Kennedy: "Mankind must put an end to war — or war will put an end to mankind."Huckabee 2016: Bend Over and Take It Like a Prisoner! | Olivia Nuzzi | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is not a decisive war, with a single, signature victory, but a war of attrition.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War | Nancy A. Youssef | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
He distinguished himself in several campaigns, especially in the Peninsular war, and was raised to the rank of field marshal.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
His 6,000 native auxiliaries (as it proved later on) could not be relied upon in a civil war.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
"There is no more war," Brion translated for Ulv, realizing that the Disan had understood nothing of the explanation.Sense of Obligation | Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
I cannot reconcile the idea of a tender Heavenly Father with the known horrors of war, slavery, pestilence, and insanity.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
We were now masters of the whole country, and the war was apparently at an end.
British Dictionary definitions for war (1 of 2)
open armed conflict between two or more parties, nations, or states: Related adjectives: belligerent, martial
a particular armed conflict: the 1973 war in the Middle East
the techniques of armed conflict as a study, science, or profession
any conflict or contest: a war of wits; the war against crime
(modifier) of, relating to, resulting from, or characteristic of war: a war hero; war damage; a war story
to have had a good war to have made the most of the opportunities presented to one during wartime
in the wars informal (esp of a child) hurt or knocked about, esp as a result of quarrelling and fighting
(intr) to conduct a war
British Dictionary definitions for War. (2 of 2)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with war
In addition to the idioms beginning with war
- ward off
- war horse
- war of nerves
- all's fair in love and war
- at war
- been to the wars
- declare war
- tug of war
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.