pre·​war ˌprē-ˈwȯr How to pronounce prewar (audio)
variants or pre-war
: occurring or existing before a war and especially before World War II
prewar conditions
the prewar era/period/years
the country's prewar population
prewar levels of industrial production
an apartment in a prewar building

Examples of prewar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the first quarter of this year, Black Sea grain exports even exceeded prewar levels, according to the Ukrainian data. Constant Méheut, New York Times, 12 May 2024 Fighting has already depleted the town of much of its prewar population of about 17,000. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2024 The United Nations says more than a million Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, a fourfold increase from the city's prewar population and more than half of the Gaza Strip's total population. Jane Arraf, NPR, 26 Apr. 2024 Police officers, who were civil servants under Hamas’s prewar government, played a key role guarding international aid convoys until last month, when Israel began targeting them. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2024 His reckless prewar policy of dividing Israelis made the country vulnerable, tempting Iran’s allies to strike at a riven society. Aluf Benn, Foreign Affairs, 7 Feb. 2024 The demands, according to diplomats familiar with the talks, include a complete Israeli troop withdrawal, the return of displaced Gazans to their homes in the north and the restoration of food deliveries to prewar levels of about 500 trucks a day. Claire Parker, Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2024 Having lost about two-thirds of its prewar GDP, the country would be almost entirely dependent on Russia for its economic survival. Branislav L. Slantchev, Foreign Affairs, 1 Apr. 2024 The prewar daily average weight of goods on working days was about 7,500 tons. Manuel Canales, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prewar.' 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

1868, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prewar was in 1868

Dictionary Entries Near prewar

Cite this Entry

“Prewar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: occurring or existing before a war

More from Merriam-Webster on prewar

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