war chest


Definition of war chest

: a fund accumulated to finance a war broadly : a fund earmarked for a specific purpose, action, or campaign

Examples of war chest in a Sentence

The candidate held fund-raising dinners to build up his war chest.
Recent Examples on the Web But there were cycles, including 2006 and 2010, where news reports described Democrats as frustrated with Markey for not sharing more of his substantial war chest with other candidates. BostonGlobe.com, "As the 2018 midterm elections approached, Democratic candidates around the country wanted Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III’s help.," 17 Sep. 2019 With streaming video companies like Netflix now the leading story, CBS and Viacom are fusing their war chests to better compete in the rapidly morphing world of TV and film watching. NBC News, "CBS and Viacom merge to form $30 billion media company," 13 Aug. 2019 Still, two of the leading candidates, former state Sen. Mike Johnston and former Obama administration appointee Dan Baer, raised more money for their Senate war chests in the second quarter then Hickenlooper did for his presidential campaign. Nic Garcia, The Denver Post, "John Hickenlooper is considering a Senate run amid pressure from national Democrats," 13 Aug. 2019 Throughout the race, Ms. Gillibrand averaged less than 1 percent support in national surveys and struggled to raise money, relying heavily on a $10 million war chest in her Senate campaign account. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Kirsten Gillibrand Drops Out of 2020 Democratic Presidential Race," 28 Aug. 2019 First elected in 2010, the Republican already has over $400,000 in his campaign war chest, according to campaign finance reports. Allie Morris, ExpressNews.com, "Gov. Abbott endorses San Antonio lawmaker he spent $100k trying to oust," 27 Aug. 2019 Three bills passed in the 2019 session that will pump significant funds into the state’s affordable-housing war chest, which at its peak will amount to $82 million annually for a few years. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "Colorado’s affordable housing war chest will grow by millions in the coming years. Will it be enough?," 25 Aug. 2019 Sittenfeld currently has $529,797 in the bank, believed to be the largest war chest for a first-time mayoral candidate this far out from the city election. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Why P.G. Sittenfeld's donors don't care about text messages and petty squabbles at City Hall," 29 July 2019 Among the candidates, Siplin has the vastly larger war chest with $101,625 in the bank through June 30, receiving support from numerous developer and business interests. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, "Rare open seat on Orlando City Council draws three so far," 26 July 2019

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

1871, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for war chest

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for war chest

The first known use of war chest was in 1871

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More Definitions for war chest

war chest


Financial Definition of war chest

What It Is

A war chest is the cash set aside to deal with unexpected changes in a business environment or to take advantage of a sudden opportunity.

How It Works

Uncertainties, unexpected events and opportunities occur regularly in business environments.  In most cases, these events cost money or jeopardize revenues. The ability of a business to handle these unexpected cash needs may mean the difference between success and failure, between new growth and missed opportunities. For example, a business may use a war chest to attempt a takeover of a competitor.

Companies may accumulate cash in a reserve account to handle such contingencies. This cash account, which may be invested in short term and liquid investments, is referred to as a "war chest."

Why It Matters

A company may consider that its ability to quickly borrow cash to handle a contingency is a critical element of its cash management process. The events that cause the need for the cash unexpectedly may create a difficulty for the business in borrowing from a lender.

Source: Investing Answers

war chest


English Language Learners Definition of war chest

: an amount of money that can be used by a government to pay for a war
: an amount of money intended for a specific purpose, action, or campaign

More from Merriam-Webster on war chest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with war chest

Comments on war chest

What made you want to look up war chest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something of little or no value

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