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

This current stalemate is a civil war of sorts — and the union isn’t backing down. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Hollywood's Labor Force Has Always Had to Fight for Workers' Rights," 23 Apr. 2019 The attacks highlight tensions simmering in a country where divides left by a civil war that ended a decade ago have yet to fully heal. Corinne Abrams, WSJ, "Bomb Attacks Hit Sri Lanka’s Minority Catholic Population," 21 Apr. 2019 Recently, however, despite a civil war that killed almost 400,000 people, South Sudan’s maternal health has shown improvement. Sam Mednick, The Seattle Times, "In South Sudan, midwives bring down deaths despite the odds," 13 Apr. 2019 In 1996, a violent Communist insurgency ravaged the country; over the next 10 years, some 17,000 people were killed, with civil war finally putting an end to the incumbent government and 240 years of the troubled Nepali monarchy. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Your Next Trip to Nepal, Rent the House Sir Edmund Hillary Loved," 20 Dec. 2018 The streets of his New York are filled with rubble, leftover from a civil war between militant Christians and social deviants. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The best Blade Runner anime would have nothing to do with Blade Runner," 2 Dec. 2018 Berlin spent her teenage years in glittering pre-civil war Santiago, Chile, where her engineer father was relocated. Bridget Read, Vogue, "How Lucia Berlin Became A Literary Superstar 11 Years After Her Death (And Is About to Publish A New Collection)," 5 Nov. 2018 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

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

1 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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