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

The years-long cold war between Perry and Swift began to thaw last year when Perry gifted Swit with an actual olive branch. Cicero Estrella, The Mercury News, "Taylor Swift and Katy Perry confirm end of feud in a sticky-sweet way," 12 June 2019 Washington is focusing on Europe in its push against Huawei and as a broader battleground in a technological cold war with China, according to U.S. officials. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "U.S. Campaign Against Huawei Faces Challenge in Eastern Europe," 10 Feb. 2019 In 2009, a chickpea cold war began between Lebanon and Israel after one Lebanese man thought the way his nation could claim hummus as its own was by creating the world’s largest portion of it—a 4,532-pound plate. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Are Chickpeas the New Chic Peas?," 7 Dec. 2018 Gates opened at 8am with exhibits of vintage WWII era, cold war and modern military aircraft, along with flying exhibitions involving nearly 100 pilots and planes. Allison Bagley, Houston Chronicle, "Spread your wings at Space Center Houston’s new exhibit," 26 Apr. 2018 The cold war, as Mr Slater puts it, did not bring about a domino collapse into communism. The Economist, "South-East Asia: lots of elections, not so much democracy," 24 May 2018 The Knicks and Bulls have spent the better part of the past decade locked in a cold war to see who can alienate more lifelong fans. Andrew Sharp,, "Kevin Knox, Wendell Carter Jr., and Midsummer Hope for the Knicks and Bulls," 13 July 2018 Letting the treaty lapse would send an ominous signal, because every other part of the bilateral arms-control regime left over from the cold war is either dead or crumbling. The Economist, "What Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin ought to talk about in Helsinki," 12 July 2018 What’s next is not so much a trade war or even a cold war as the dawn of an ice age in relations between China and the United States. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "After Trump’s New Tariff Threat, China Seeks Strategy for Retaliation," 11 July 2018

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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Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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The first known use of cold war was in 1945

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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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