cold war

noun
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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; specificallyoften capitalized C&W :the ideological conflict between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. 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

  1. the era of the Cold War

  2. the cold war between the party's more liberal and conservative members

Recent Examples of cold war from the Web

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


COLD WAR Defined for English Language Learners

cold war

noun

Definition of cold war for English Language Learners

  • the Cold War : the nonviolent conflict between the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R. after 1945

  • : a conflict or dispute between two groups that does not involve actual fighting


Learn More about cold war


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!