noun, often attributive \ˈwr\

: a state or period of fighting between countries or groups

: a situation in which people or groups compete with or fight against each other

: an organized effort by a government or other large organization to stop or defeat something that is viewed as dangerous or bad

Full Definition of WAR

a (1) :  a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2) :  a period of such armed conflict (3) :  state of war
b :  the art or science of warfare
c (1) obsolete :  weapons and equipment for war
(2) archaic :  soldiers armed and equipped for war
a :  a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism
b :  a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end <a class war> <a war against disease>
c :  variance, odds 3
war·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of WAR

  1. They fought a war over the disputed territory.
  2. A war broke out when the colonists demanded their independence.
  3. We need to resolve our conflicts without resorting to war.
  4. People behave differently during a time of war.
  5. The taking of American hostages was seen as an act of war by the United States.
  6. the budget wars in Washington

Origin of WAR

Middle English werre, from Anglo-French werre, guerre, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German werra strife; akin to Old High German werran to confuse
First Known Use: 12th century

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical



Definition of WAR

intransitive verb
:  to be in active or vigorous conflict
:  to engage in warfare

First Known Use of WAR

13th century


adverb or adjective \ˈwär\

Definition of WAR

chiefly Scottish
:  worse

Origin of WAR

Middle English werre, from Old Norse verri, adjective, verr, adverb; akin to Old English wiersa worse — more at worse
First Known Use: 13th century


verb \ˈwär\

Definition of WAR

transitive verb

First Known Use of WAR

15th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

State of conflict, generally armed, between two or more entities. It is characterized by intentional violence on the part of large bodies of individuals organized and trained for that purpose. On the national level, some wars are fought internally between rival political factions (civil war); others are fought against an external enemy. Wars have been fought in the name of religion, in self-defense, to acquire territory or resources, and to further the political aims of the aggressor state's leadership.


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