- 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.
- active hostility or contention; conflict; contest: a war of words.
- 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.
Origin of war1
Origin of war2
Related Words for warwarfare, combat, hostility, fighting, strife, strike, struggle, battle, conflict, bloodshed, differ, enmity, contention, contest, hostilities, contend, shoot, shell, attempt, clash
Examples from the Web for war
Contemporary Examples of war
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!
January 8, 2015
It is not a decisive war, with a single, signature victory, but a war of attrition.
In this war, the targeting is often happening on computer monitors thousands of miles away, capturing images from drones.
But this war jumps from city to city, depending the threat of the day.
Pentagon leaders agree to a person that the U.S. war against ISIS is succeeding.
Historical Examples of war
Halbert privately came to the same conclusion, and decided to war only with words.Brave and Bold
The following are a few of the passes used by Harriet throughout the war.Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
As for the war between the Philistines and the Jews, it never came to an end.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
I did all that in honor could be done to avert the war, but without avail.
Division on public questions can no longer be traced by the war maps of 1861.
- open armed conflict between two or more parties, nations, or statesRelated adjectives: belligerent, martial
- a particular armed conflictthe 1973 war in the Middle East
- the techniques of armed conflict as a study, science, or profession
- any conflict or contesta war of wits; the war against crime
- (modifier) of, relating to, resulting from, or characteristic of wara 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
Word Origin for war
late Old English (c.1050), wyrre, werre, from Old North French werre "war" (Modern French guerre), from Frankish *werra, from Proto-Germanic *werso (cf. Old Saxon werran, Old High German werran, German verwirren "to confuse, perplex"). Cognates suggest the original sense was "to bring into confusion."
Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian guerra are from the same source; Romanic peoples turned to Germanic for a word to avoid Latin bellum because its form tended to merge with bello- "beautiful." There was no common Germanic word for "war" at the dawn of historical times. Old English had many poetic words for "war" (wig, guð, heaðo, hild, all common in personal names), but the usual one to translate Latin bellum was gewin "struggle, strife" (related to win).
First record of war time is late 14c. Warpath (1775) is originally in reference to North American Indians, as are war-whoop (1761), war-paint (1826), and war-dance (1757). War crime first attested 1906. War chest is attested from 1901; now usually figurative. War games translates German Kriegspiel (see kriegspiel).
"to make war on," mid-12c.; see war (n.). Related: Warred; warring.
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