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 In this scenario, which may already be coming to fruition, the meager hope is that the conflict transforms into simply a more limited war. Daniel Byman, Foreign Affairs, 5 Apr. 2024 Western policymakers in Washington also believe that Iran is relatively satisfied with the more limited war’s outcome so far: The Hamas attacks seriously undermined diplomacy meant to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Matt Bradley, NBC News, 14 Dec. 2023 But the fight to capture it risks putting Israel on a collision course with the Biden administration, which has called on Israel to minimize civilian casualties and ease humanitarian deprivation in Gaza, and to hew to a more limited war aim of expelling Hamas from power. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, 7 Dec. 2023 Many scholars panned the book, believing its 34-year-old author had overestimated the nation’s ability to keep limited war limited. David E. Sanger, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2023 The worry that the Israel-Hamas war would widen now seems less probable, and a more limited war would save the U.S. government from having to make a stark choice between helping Ukraine and intervening in a hot war in the Middle East. Liana Fix, Foreign Affairs, 28 Nov. 2023 The lack of escalation in Ukraine serves as a reminder that in limited wars, patience is a virtue. Austin Carson, Foreign Affairs, 14 Sep. 2023 Western leaders and Ukraine have allowed what is still, in some important ways, a limited war to emerge organically and through trial and error. Austin Carson, Foreign Affairs, 14 Sep. 2023 Unable to co-opt Kyiv, Putin waged a limited war against Ukraine in 2014 and 2015. Michael Kimmage, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'limited war.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1806, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of limited war was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near limited war

Cite this Entry

“Limited war.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

limited war

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

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