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war-gamed; war-gaming; war-games

transitive verb

: to plan or conduct in the manner of a war game
war-gamed an invasionNewsweek

intransitive verb

: to conduct a war game

war game

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: a simulated battle or campaign to test military concepts and usually conducted in conferences by officers acting as the opposing staffs
: a two-sided umpired training maneuver with actual elements of the armed forces participating

Examples of war-game in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
In one instance, a group convened for three straight days at Camp David in Maryland to war-game a scenario that foreshadowed the Berlin crisis of 1961. Jacquelyn Schneider, Foreign Affairs, 26 Dec. 2023 The West needs to be war-gaming scenarios to avoid future conflicts and seeking out measures to blunt Russia’s attempts to weaken its societies and the international order. Bob Seely, Foreign Affairs, 24 Nov. 2023 Experts for the Center for a New American Security think tank, whose research includes war-gaming possible conflicts using realistic scenarios and unclassified information, played the red team. Ellen Knickmeyer, Chicago Tribune, 22 Apr. 2023 By June, however, Space Force and its Combatant Command, U.S. Space Command, were recruiting tech-smart people; coordinating with international allies; deciding which technologies to buy; and running war-game simulations in which teams attack, counterattack and outthink one another. Ann Finkbeiner, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2020
China’s eastern theater command says the air force, navy, and infantry will be involved in the war games, which will last until Friday. Emily Feng, NPR, 23 May 2024 The docu, which debuted at Sundance 2024, imagines a nation-wide insurrection, set on Jan. 6, 2025, in which members of the U.S. military defects to support the losing Presidential candidate, while the winning candidate and his advisors war game the crisis in the White House situation room. Addie Morfoot, Variety, 21 May 2024 But in the face of wavering Western support for Ukraine and an uncertain U.S. election, the alliance has been using these war games to suss out and strengthen its shortfalls. Anna Mulrine Grobe, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Mar. 2024 North Korea had ramped up missile launches in protest at the joint US-South Korea war games, firing submarine missiles ahead of the exercises. Jonny Hallam, CNN, 19 Mar. 2023 Her images capture the rising smoke of artillery fire and bolts of lights descending from air bombs during war games, barracks scrawled in faux Arabic to mimic scenes in the field, and young soldiers role-playing — some American heroes, others enemy insurgents. Dan Q. Dao, CNN, 29 Feb. 2024 Key elements that shaped the counteroffensive and the initial outcome include: ● Ukrainian, U.S. and British military officers held eight major tabletop war games to build a campaign plan. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2023 This is why war games do not predict the future but can shape it. Jacquelyn Schneider, Foreign Affairs, 26 Dec. 2023 The Rafael Peralta’s radar had picked up three more Chinese ships, and, while crew members monitored their instruments, a kind of long-distance war game ensued. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, 14 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'war-game.' 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


1942, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of war-game was in 1828

Dictionary Entries Near war-game

Cite this Entry

“War-game.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/war-game. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

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