- 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
Examples from the Web for warring
Contemporary Examples of warring
For peace to have a chance, the calculations of the warring parties must change as well.‘The Good Lie’ and the Hard Truths of South Sudan
October 3, 2014
The warring courts that left two men in legal limbo and ultimately resolved nothing?Mary Fallin’s Killer Fiasco
May 1, 2014
Today, he is sick of Syria talk, and asserts that all warring sides are guilty of perpetuating the violence.War Tourists Flock to Syria’s Front Lines
November 2, 2013
The “warring nations,” which continued to be at odds, and might always be, did not forge modern Canada that way.What Canada's History Teaches Us About the Feasibility of the One-State Paradigm
September 24, 2013
If this trio smiles twice, it will be once more than the dour, warring panel from last season did.Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. Will Save ‘American Idol’
September 3, 2013
Historical Examples of warring
But for the quality of Giovanni's head-piece of a truth there had been an end to the warring of a Fool.The Shame of Motley
It was the signal; like warring currents of the sea the two forces clashed.Nicanor - Teller of Tales
C. Bryson Taylor
His soul is the battle ground of the warring angels of good and evil.Ernest Linwood
Caroline Lee Hentz
As these lines are written we are still at peace with all the warring nations.A Journey Through France in War Time
Joseph G. Butler, Jr.
I want to get these warring elements together, under one roof.The Last Woman
- 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
"to make war on," mid-12c.; see war (n.). Related: Warred; warring.
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).
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