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 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

the era of the Cold War the cold war between the party's more liberal and conservative members
Recent Examples on the Web Many countries have been caught between the United States and China in their tech cold war. Adam Satariano,, "Against US wishes, Britain to allow Huawei a role in 5G," 28 Jan. 2020 Many countries have been caught between the United States and China in their tech cold war. Adam Satariano, New York Times, "Britain Defies Trump Plea to Ban Huawei From 5G Network," 28 Jan. 2020 Mr Krastev and Mr Holmes think the trauma of losing the cold war made Russia different, and that its attempts at building democracy were always a charade. The Economist, "The ironies of revolution A love affair with liberal democracy that soured," 9 Jan. 2020 The world's biggest consumer technology trade show kicks off Tuesday in Las Vegas amid an escalating tech cold war between the U.S. and China. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "CES 2020 Kickoff Highlights the Decoupling of U.S. and China’s Tech," 7 Jan. 2020 In the void, there was a clamor to set rules for dealing with China in business, geopolitics, and culture, all surrounding a central question: Is the contest a new cold war? Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, "The Future of America’s Contest with China," 6 Jan. 2020 All this fulminating does not mean that China seeks to match the hawks in Washington and drag their two countries into a new cold war, in which the world is divided into rival camps. The Economist, "400-pound rivals China views Donald Trump’s America with growing distrust and scorn," 2 Jan. 2020 Like Brin, a refugee from the USSR at the height of the cold war, Pichai has stood his ground against anti-immigrant sentiments. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Besides the proverbial torch, Google founders are passing a laundry list of troubles to Sundar Pichai," 4 Dec. 2019 For much of the cold war, however, the United States and China shared a common adversary in the Soviet Union. The Economist, "The shape-shifting threat of Chinese espionage," 21 Nov. 2019

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.

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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

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cold war.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cold war

cold war


English Language Learners Definition of 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

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