cold war


Definition of cold war

1 : a conflict over ideological differences carried on by methods short of sustained overt military action and usually without breaking off diplomatic relations specifically, often capitalized C&W : the ideological conflict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the second half of the 20th century — compare hot war
2 : a condition of rivalry, mistrust, and often open hostility short of violence especially between power groups (such as labor and management)

Examples of cold war in a Sentence

the era of the Cold War the cold war between the party's more liberal and conservative members
Recent Examples on the Web The deal, announced Wednesday, deepens the detente between Turkey and the U.A.E., powers that until recently were on opposite sides of a Middle Eastern cold war and remain at odds over conflicts in the region. Jared Malsin, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 Reagan fought and won a cold war because even a successful hot war might have resulted in the annihilation of a significant portion of our population. James Freeman, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 While Russia and China are not formal allies, their strengthening partnership has raised concerns in Washington and other capitals about how well Western powers could combat challenges in a two-front cold war. Don Lee, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022 The expansion of restaurants to curbside spaces and the closure of city streets to automobiles began in 2020, but in 2021 those alterations felt like a new phase in a decades-old cold war over the look and feel of the modern city. Adam Rogers, Wired, 30 Dec. 2021 But this can’t be what sets the budding cold war between the U.S. and China apart from the old. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 17 May 2022 The several-year-long political cold war culminated in the economic crisis in 2008, which paved the way for Orbán’s landslide election victory two years later. Zsuzsanna Szelényi, The New Republic, 5 Apr. 2022 Her parents, for example, lived through a presidential assassination, a cold war, and a military draft. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2022 In 1945, most American officials did not expect a cold war stretching to four and a half decades. Hal Brands, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of cold war

1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of cold war was in 1945

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cold war.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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