Ab·​wehr | \ ˈäp-ˌver How to pronounce Abwehr (audio) \

Definition of Abwehr

: an organization responsible for military intelligence in Germany from 1921 to 1944

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Abwehr

1943, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Abwehr

borrowed from German, literally, “repulsion, fending off, defense (alluding to the organization's counterintelligence function),” noun derivative of abwehren “to fend off, parry, defend,” from ab- “down, from” (going back to Old High German ab, aba, preposition) + wehren “to defend, resist,” going back to Old High German werien, werren

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Abwehr

Time Traveler for Abwehr

Time Traveler

The first known use of Abwehr was in 1943

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Abwehr

Cite this Entry

“Abwehr.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Abwehr. Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

Comments on Abwehr

What made you want to look up Abwehr? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!