war story

noun

: a story of a memorable personal experience typically involving an element of danger, hardship, or adventure
politicians swapping war stories from past campaigns

Did you know?

People have been telling stories about real wars since long before Washington Irving wrote the following in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: "folks . . . sat smoking at one end of the piazza, . . . drawing out long stories about the war." But today tellers of "war stories" need not have experienced a literal battlefield. Around the middle of the 19th century, "war story" took on a more figurative meaning, and nowadays such accounts can encompass challenges in the workplace, on the campaign trail, in sports, in one's travels . . . wherever difficulties need to be overcome.

Example Sentences

He liked to tell war stories from his life as a sea captain. We exchanged war stories about our time as interns at the same company.
Recent Examples on the Web Arlo Guthrie’s epic, melodic and meandering anti-war story/song about being arrested for littering after a holiday feast still rules the radio on Thanksgiving. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 22 Nov. 2022 But this was no war story; this was every filmmaker’s worst nightmare. Meg James, Amy Kaufman And Julia Wick, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Nov. 2021 Gears of War is a science-fiction war story that takes place on the fictional planet of Sera. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 7 Nov. 2022 But this was no war story; this was every filmmaker’s worst nightmare. Meg James, Amy Kaufman And Julia Wick, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Nov. 2021 But this was no war story; this was every filmmaker’s worst nightmare. Meg James, Amy Kaufman And Julia Wick, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Nov. 2021 But this was no war story; this was every filmmaker’s worst nightmare. Meg James, Amy Kaufman And Julia Wick, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Nov. 2021 But this was no war story; this was every filmmaker’s worst nightmare. Meg James, Amy Kaufman And Julia Wick, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Nov. 2021 Welp, so much for my war story of being attacked in my driveway by the rabid raccoon nine years ago. Pat Myers, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'war story.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of war story was in 1970

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near war story

Cite this Entry

“War story.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/war%20story. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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