civil war


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

His group has fought in major battles against IS in northern Iraq and in neighboring Syria’s civil war. Qassim Abdul-zahra, The Seattle Times, "AP Interview: Iraqi militia leader wants US troops to leave," 28 Jan. 2019 As The Times’s military correspondent, General Trainor covered United States-Soviet relations, the civil war in Nicaragua, the Iran-Iraq war and Pentagon affairs. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, "Bernard E. Trainor, 89, General Turned Military Analyst, Is Dead," 4 June 2018 Tice, a former Marine and an American journalist from Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria's civil war. CBS News, "FBI offers $1M reward for info on American journalist Austin Tice, missing in Syria," 19 Apr. 2018 Their intent was to halt his quest for power and restore the Roman Republic, but instead the country was plunged into civil war. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "So, What Exactly Are the Ides of March?," 15 Mar. 2019 The genocide was carried out during the 1990-1994 civil war between the Hutu government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF,) made up of mostly Tutsi refugees. Caterina Clerici & Eléonore Hamelin, Marie Claire, "Rwanda's Future Is Female," 1 Feb. 2019 The country has been embroiled in a civil war since 2013 between pro-government and rebel factions drawn along ethnic lines. Abigail Higgins, Vox, "The World Bank and tech companies want to use AI to predict famine," 29 Sep. 2018 China and Taiwan separated in 1949 following the Communist victory in a civil war that saw the Nationalists flee to the island. David Mckenzie And Brent Swails, CNN, "The kingdom that China just can't flip," 8 June 2018 Paul Ryan’s caucus is currently locked in a civil war over immigration. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Evinces Interest in a ‘DACA for Wall’ Deal," 24 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of civil war

circa 1533, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for civil war

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for civil war

The first known use of civil war was circa 1533

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More Definitions for civil war

civil war


English Language Learners Definition of civil war

: a war between groups of people in the same country

civil war


Kids Definition of civil war

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

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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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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