war crime


Definition of war crime 

: a crime (such as genocide or maltreatment of prisoners) committed during or in connection with war usually used in plural

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Other Words from war crime

war criminal noun

Examples of war crime in a Sentence

He was found guilty of torture and other war crimes.

Recent Examples on the Web

In short, the original story said that Haspel had run one of the CIA’s infamous black sites in Thailand where, among other obvious war crimes, a poor sap named Abu Zubaydah was tortured, including being waterboarded 83 times. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The Correction Matters. The Reporting Matters, Too.," 16 Mar. 2018 Along with several other suspects, the ICC charged Bashir with being indirectly responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur. Conor Gaffey, Newsweek, "After Burundi, Which Other African States Could Abandon the ICC?," 19 Oct. 2016 Only one Confederate officer was ever convicted of a war crime: Henry Wirz, commandant of the gruesome Andersonville, Ga., prisoner-of-war camp. Fergus M. Bordewich, WSJ, "‘The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee’ Review: The Cost of Conciliation," 12 July 2018 In 1986, Kurt Waldheim was inaugurated as president of Austria despite controversy over his alleged ties to Nazi war crimes. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 8 July 2018 The death march resulted in the deaths of at least 5,500 of the prisoners and as many as 19,000 in all and was eventually ruled a war crime committed by the Japanese Imperial Army. Julie Cornell, Houston Chronicle, "Students re-enact Bataan Death March in The Woodlands," 3 Mar. 2018 International watchdogs say the Nigerian military has been guilty of war crimes during its messy struggle against Boko Haram. Alexander Smith /, NBC News, "What is Boko Haram, the militant group terrorizing Nigeria?," 19 June 2018 Israel has been accused of committing war crimes in its three wars in the Gaza Strip in the last decade. Ilan Ben Zion, Jewish Journal, "Rights group: Israeli lethal force in Gaza may be war crime," 13 June 2018 Oskar Groening, the Auschwitz bookkeeper who was convicted at age 94 after a Munich court cleared the way for the prosecution of low-ranking officials accused of indirectly committing Nazi war crimes, has died. Karin Matussek, Bloomberg.com, "Oskar Groening, Convicted ‘Accountant of Auschwitz,’ Dies at 96," 12 Mar. 2018

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

1906, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near war crime

war club

war correspondent


war crime

war cry



Statistics for war crime

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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The first known use of war crime was in 1906

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More Definitions for war crime

war crime


English Language Learners Definition of war crime

: an act committed during a war that violates international law usually because it is cruel, unfair, etc.

war crime


Legal Definition of war crime 

: an act committed usually during an international war for which individual criminal liability will be imposed by a domestic or international tribunal specifically : a violation of the laws or customs of war as embodied or recognized by international treaty, court decisions, or established practice usually used in pl.

Note: Following World War II, the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg first codified war crimes including crimes against humanity. Also encompassed in the legal concept of war crimes is the crime of planning or waging a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties.

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Comments on war crime

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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