verb (used without object), warred, war·ring.


of, belonging to, used in, or due to war: war preparations; war hysteria.

Nearby words

  1. wapentake,
  2. wapiti,
  3. wappenshaw,
  4. wapperjaw,
  5. wapsipinicon,
  6. war and peace,
  7. war baby,
  8. war between the states,
  9. war bonnet,
  10. war bride

Origin of war

before 1150; (noun) Middle English, late Old English werre < Old North French < Germanic; cognate with Old High German werra strife; (v.) Middle English, late Old English werrien (transitive) to make war upon, derivative of the noun; compare Old French guerrer, Old North French werreier; akin to war2

Can be confusedwar wore



adjective, adverb Scot. and North England.

Origin of war

1150–1200; Middle English werre < Old Norse verri worse


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for war

British Dictionary definitions for war



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

verb wars, warring or warred

(intr) to conduct a war

Word Origin for war

C12: from Old Northern French werre (variant of Old French guerre), of Germanic origin; related to Old High German werra


abbreviation for

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

Word Origin and History for war
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with war


In addition to the idioms beginning with war

  • ward off
  • war horse
  • war of nerves

also see:

  • 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.