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

The island split from China in 1949, the result of a bloody civil war, and the old Republic of China government fled to the island after communist forces won victory on the mainland. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Taiwan is Reverse-Engineering Fighter Jet Engines To Power a Cruise Missile," 3 Jan. 2019 The ongoing civil war – which broke out in late 2013 as a power struggle between President Salva Kiir, who accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup attempt – is heading toward its sixth year. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Christian ex-child soldier, now hip-hop artist, calls for forgiveness," 21 Sep. 2018 Decades of civil war has left South Sudan with a population that is disproportionately young — the country’s median age is just 17.3 — and female. Jenna Sauers, Harper's BAZAAR, "South Sudan’s Female Literacy Rate Is Just 16%. This Refugee-Turned-Model is Fighting to Change That.," 23 Aug. 2018 Some in Spain echo the feeling that moving Franco would simply be a case of politicians trying to make capital out of the painful events of the civil war. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "Plan to Exhume Franco Renews Spain’s Wrestle With History," 7 July 2018 Shiite groups have dominated government since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, deposing Saddam Hussein and ushering in an era of sectarian civil war. NBC News, "Iraq set for election recount amid fraud claims," 22 June 2018 Nearly four decades of civil war between authoritarian governments and left-wing guerrillas ensued — throughout which the United States provided support to the former. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "We Owe Central American Migrants Much More Than This," 21 June 2018 Saab’s story is well-known; the icon started designing for his sisters at 9 years-old and began his atelier at eighteen in the middle of the Lebanese civil war. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018 But could Marshall have advanced the cause of slavery’s abolition any further without hastening civil war? Adam J. White, WSJ, "‘John Marshall’ Review: Chief Among Equals," 30 Nov. 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

9 Jan 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

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