limited war


Definition of limited war

: a war whose objective is less than the total defeat of the enemy

Examples of limited war in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The recent real-world version of the recurring debates about limited war and the weapons needed to fight one is the Trump administration’s decision to deploy low-yield warheads on American Trident submarines. Jessica T. Mathews, The New York Review of Books, 22 July 2020 However, our decades-long limited war with Iran has yet to spiral out of control. Time, 8 Jan. 2020 That logic led to major conflicts like Vietnam and Korea, limited wars in the Middle East and Balkans, interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and occasional nation-building in conquered lands. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, 5 Nov. 2019 But this likely carries little benefit for Iran, as a limited war would still cause significant damage. Erin Cunningham, Washington Post, 19 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of limited war

1806, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About limited war

Time Traveler for limited war

Time Traveler

The first known use of limited war was in 1806

See more words from the same year

Statistics for limited war

Cite this Entry

“Limited war.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on limited war

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for limited war


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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