friendly fire


Definition of friendly fire

: the firing of weapons from one's own forces or those of an ally especially when resulting in the accidental death or injury of one's own personnel Near the river bordering our camp I find the tents of the four soldiers who were supposedly hit by friendly fire.— Janine Di Giovanni After all, accidental attacks, though tragic, are common in war. In 1967 alone, "friendly fire" killed 5,373 Americans fighting in Vietnam.— Michael Oren

Examples of friendly fire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And that is why, in rare cases, children and others get so sick with what’s known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome, in which an overactive immune system harms the body in a friendly fire attack. Tom Frieden, WSJ, "How to Handle the Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough the Right Way," 4 Dec. 2020 In the end, even compromise couldn't spare the Republicans from taking shots — including friendly fire. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "What persuaded the GOP members of Wayne County Board of Canvassers to reverse course," 19 Nov. 2020 In some cases, provocative new research shows, some people — men in particular — succumb because their immune systems are hit by friendly fire. NBC News, "'Breakthrough finding' reveals why certain Covid-19 patients die," 13 Nov. 2020 Lack of coordination led to friendly fire in which one police officer was killed. Tom Odula, Star Tribune, "Kenyan court sentences 2 for Westgate attack that killed 67," 30 Oct. 2020 Even more importantly, mobile phone footage of the late policeman getting caught by friendly fire also emerged. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Young Nigerian protesters are using social media to dispel misinformation from traditional media," 14 Oct. 2020 Love to cook outdoors or sit around a friendly fire, but don't love the idea of paying too much? Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, "Rauchbier Is the Best Fall Beer," 14 Oct. 2020 Lack of coordination between the military and the police led to friendly fire in which one police officer was killed. Tom Odula, Star Tribune, "2 guilty of supporting deadly Westgate mall attack in Kenya," 7 Oct. 2020 Mattingly was hit by friendly fire from other officers. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Read what Daniel Cameron said about the grand jury's findings in the Breonna Taylor case," 23 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'friendly fire.' 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 friendly fire

1918, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for friendly fire

Time Traveler

The first known use of friendly fire was in 1918

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Statistics for friendly fire

Last Updated

14 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Friendly fire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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