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

While North Carolina Democrats are boasting record fund-raising, three Mecklenburg County Democrats have bigger war chests than incumbent Republican lawmakers, according to new finance reports. Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Why one GOP strategist says ‘Republicans are going to have to work harder than ever’," 12 July 2018 That long a dry spell between funds — at a time when rival firms are competing with one another to raise bigger and bigger war chests at a faster and faster clip, led by SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund — is decidedly unusual. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Is there a next act for one of Silicon Valley’s top investors after Uber? Benchmark and Bill Gurley are about to find out.," 25 June 2018 But the notably-resilient Hogan is running strong in 2018 -- leading by double-digits against his closest Democrat challengers and amassing a war chest bigger than the combined total of the entire Democratic primary field. Joseph Weber, Fox News, "As Dems focus on big state-level wins, GOP's Hogan mounts impressive reelection bid in Maryland," 26 May 2018 To counter the establishment help, Kaegi has a significant war chest at his disposal after pumping more than $1.3 million of his own money into his campaign. Hal Dardick, chicagotribune.com, "Berrios’ bad week provides momentum to challenger in assessor’s race," 17 Feb. 2018 One key for Pureval is he's been able to build up his war chest while outside Democratic organizations pour money into the region to try to defeat Chabot, who seeks a 12th term. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Aftab Pureval builds war chest as outside groups spend big money attacking Chabot," 3 July 2018 Political analysts say Cardin will be a tough candidate to beat in November for more reasons than his campaign war chest — reported at $2.8 million in early June. Bloomberg.com, "Ben Cardin Wins Maryland Senate Democratic Primary Over Chelsea Manning," 27 June 2018 Council candidates then need to build their campaign war chests for signs, events and advertising. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "'An entire generation ... underrepresented': Why Millennials avoid local government," 27 June 2018 Political analysts say Cardin will be a tough candidate to beat in November for more reasons than his campaign war chest — reported at $2.8 million in early June. Washington Post, "Sen. Ben Cardin wins primary over Chelsea Manning, 6 others," 26 June 2018

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

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for war chest

The first known use of war chest was in 1871

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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

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