civil war

noun

Definition of civil war

: a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country

Examples of civil war in a Sentence

a region that has had many civil wars The country is on the brink of civil war.

Recent Examples on the Web

Reuters Two violent civil wars in Liberia killed a quarter million people between 1989 and 2003 and destroyed the West African country’s economy. Jessica Eise, Quartz Africa, "How foreign aid helped and hurt one of the world’s poorest countries," 21 June 2019 Anglophobia, stirred by Britain’s trade with the Confederacy during the civil war and the prominence of Irish-Americans among early ballplayers, assisted this process. The Economist, "Baseball and exceptionalism," 8 June 2019 In December 2013, two years after South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, conflict between rival government leaders erupted into civil war. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "In Uganda, a unique urban experiment is under way," 17 June 2019 Examples include the commissions that investigated apartheid in South Africa, the civil war in Timor-Leste and the dictatorship in Chile. Kelebogile Zvobgo, The Conversation, "Maryland has created a truth commission on lynchings – can it deliver?," 14 June 2019 Better Angels, whose name comes from Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address in 1861 as America was about to plunge into civil war, is trying to take the lead on the national effort to improve civility. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "Don’t get divorced because of Trump. The tough work of settling America’s political differences," 11 June 2019 Following the arc of the Syrian uprising, Sarout later took up arms as the country slid into civil war. Washington Post, "Syrian soccer goalie who became rebel icon dies in battle," 9 June 2019 Following the arc of the Syrian uprising, Sarout later took up arms as the country slid into civil war. NBC News, "'Guardian of freedom': Syrian soccer goalie who became rebel icon dies in battle," 9 June 2019 Get our daily newsletter Residents of the capital likened the carnage to atrocities committed by government forces and its militias during Sudan’s long civil wars. The Economist, "Pro-democracy protesters are slaughtered in Khartoum," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civil war.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of civil war

circa 1533, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about civil war

Statistics for civil war

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for civil war

The first known use of civil war was circa 1533

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for civil war

civil war

noun

English Language Learners Definition of civil war

: a war between groups of people in the same country

civil war

noun

Kids Definition of civil war

: a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on civil war

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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