war story


Definition of 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 The narrator likens his abusive childhood to a war story. James Wood, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 Sometimes a digital war story will lead to a real one. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 2 June 2021 The poet’s eternal job, assigned by the Greek gods, is to keep this war story alive. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Dec. 2020 Da 5 Bloods, which is equal parts heist, war story, and bloody reckoning, follows four black US Army veterans who had a particular Vietnam War tour in common. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 19 June 2020 Taking place after all the Rogue One protagonists are already dead, the scene plays like a coda that cements this war story’s gradual transformation into a gruesome horror show. Lauren Morgan, EW.com, 19 Dec. 2019 Fun fact: '1917' was inspired by true events Director Sam Mendes based the film on war stories told to him by his grandfather Alfred Mendes, who fought in World War I. Lara Horwitz, NBC News, 28 Dec. 2019 Anybody who has spent time in the upper echelons of the U.S. science bureaucracy has some war stories to tell. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, 19 Feb. 2020 While Blake and his brother-in-arms Schofield (George McKay) are imaginary, Mendes grounded his war story in truth. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 20 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of war story

1970, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for war story

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The first known use of war story was in 1970

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“War story.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/war%20story. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for war story

war story


English Language Learners Definition of war story

: a story of a personal experience that usually involves danger, struggle, or adventure


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