trench warfare


Definition of trench warfare

: warfare in which the opposing forces attack and counterattack from a relatively permanent system of trenches protected by barbed-wire entanglements

Examples of trench warfare in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Soldiers there endured grueling trench warfare and hand-to-hand combat that one French survivor likened to the fighting at Verdun, the World War I battle in northeastern France. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "Old Enemies Meet Again on the Battlefield, This Time to Recover the Dead," 12 Feb. 2019 For troops serving on the front lines during World War I, trench warfare was common practice. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "Explore These World War I Trenches and Tunnels in France and Belgium," 25 June 2019 Despite advances like the use of poison gas and armored tanks, both sides were trapped in trench warfare that claimed enormous numbers of casualties. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "What caused World War I and what were its effects?," 11 Apr. 2019 Politics as trench warfare has relieved the Democrats of the burden of thought. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "What Democrats Have Become," 19 Sep. 2018 At the time, the U.S. Army was sorely lacking— 200,000 lax regulars and 400,000 National Guard troops more suited to quelling labor strife than engaging in deadly trench warfare. Walter R. Borneman, WSJ, "‘Sons of Freedom’ and ‘Never in Finer Company’ Review: World War I’s Only True Winner," 28 Dec. 2018 In popular memory, World War I is identified with static trench warfare on the Western Front, a four-year slog through mud and blood. Geoffrey Wawro, WSJ, "The Reinvention of Warfare," 8 Nov. 2018 The fighting raged for two years and claimed at least 70,000 lives in brutal, trench warfare-style fighting. Paul Schemm, Washington Post, "Eritrea breaks silence and responds to Ethiopia peace overtures, will send delegation," 20 June 2018 The tank was invented to break the stalemate of trench warfare on World War I's European battlefields. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "100 Years Ago Today, Tanks Changed Warfare Forever," 15 Sep. 2016

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

1887, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near trench warfare


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Statistics for trench warfare

Last Updated

30 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for trench warfare

The first known use of trench warfare was in 1887

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More from Merriam-Webster on trench warfare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trench warfare Encyclopedia article about trench warfare

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to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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