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

In all, Gaynier was looking for a war chest of $50,000 if all the matches came through. Thomas Jewell, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Heights Citizens for Good Government receives cash match from national city managers’ association," 30 July 2019 Argo expects to use VW’s cash to fuel growth, including its staff, and a war chest is always helpful for acquisitions. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Ford and VW Hitch Their Self-Driving Efforts Together," 12 July 2019 As the new top-line model, it was given a war chest of technologies and luxurious perks, not the least of which is a 450-horsepower, turbocharged V-6 engine and a 36-gallon fuel tank. San Diego Union-Tribune, "$74,000 Ford F-150? Dearborn’s best, but love is blind," 22 June 2019 Former Vice President Joe Biden hinted that his campaign is may be sitting on a war chest of donations totaling $19 million just two weeks before the second quarter funding deadline closes. NBC News, "Biden hints at $19 million raised for his presidential campaign," 18 June 2019 Harvest alone has a war chest of $500 million set aside for acquiring smaller cannabis companies. Sam Wood, https://www.inquirer.com, "Big marijuana firms are ‘rolling up’ local dispensaries and growers, skirting Pennsylvania’s laws," 4 June 2019 Apple, which is sitting on a war chest of about $250 billion, is leaning into that fact with full force. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Apple Is a Credit Card Company Now," 25 Mar. 2019 Her announcement set up a race pitting an openly gay liberal activist against a two-term incumbent with a $30 million war chest and possible presidential ambitions. Jaclyn Reiss, BostonGlobe.com, "Cynthia Nixon will be at a meet-and-greet in Mass. Thursday night," 5 July 2018 Baird, Diego Morales and Steve Braun have all amassed six-figure campaign war chests for the primary. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "'Arm and a leg' gas tax mailer attacks candidate who lost arm in Vietnam War," 4 May 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

10 Aug 2019

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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

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).


not constant or steady

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