war story


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

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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.

Examples of war story in a Sentence

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 Inside the ballroom at American Airlines’ headquarters, the veterans exchanged war stories and dined on Provencal short ribs, lump crab cakes and apple pie topped with creamy French brie. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, 1 June 2024 Still, The Sympathizer takes a powerful stand by expanding the scope of war stories. Li Zhou, Vox, 29 May 2024 As a vacation rental operator, British native Tansy Forster was sometimes privy to war stories like these. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 June 2024 The Smith family went to the ranch each fall with a hunting group that included World War II and Korean War veterans, with Aaron Smith taking in the elder men's war stories and political discussions, cherishing group breakfasts and hunting sessions. Jenna Prestininzi, Detroit Free Press, 12 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for war story 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'war story.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1970, in the meaning defined above

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


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 23 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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