war·​fare | \ ˈwȯr-ˌfer How to pronounce warfare (audio) \

Definition of warfare

1 : military operations between enemies : hostilities, war also : an activity undertaken by a political unit (such as a nation) to weaken or destroy another economic warfare
2 : struggle between competing entities : conflict

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Examples of warfare in a Sentence

that troubled household seems to be almost constantly in a state of warfare companies engaged in constant warfare for dominance in the market for home computers
Recent Examples on the Web From Opinion: Class warfare, but in which direction? Lisa Lerer, New York Times, "Your Advice for the Class of 2020," 21 May 2020 Voice of America, the BBC, and Radio Australia broadcast reports that emphasized Indonesian military propaganda points, as part of a psychological warfare campaign to demonize the PKI. Vincent Bevins, The New York Review of Books, "How ‘Jakarta’ Became the Codeword for US-Backed Mass Killing," 20 May 2020 Almost instantly, that shock generated a set of metaphors drawn from warfare. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "Metaphors Matter in a Time of Pandemic," 19 May 2020 Players attempt to shepherd their alien race through the dangers of politics and warfare to claim the galactic throne. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "What to play during coronavirus isolation: Cleveland board game experts offer recommendations," 3 Apr. 2020 Violent flash points rooted in all kinds of new phenomena—police corruption, climate change, gang warfare—now dot the Earth, creating the conditions for the worst protracted migration crisis since World War II. Matt Katz, The Atlantic, "The World’s Refugee System Is Broken," 29 Feb. 2020 But the psychological warfare was less effective once the British Flying Corps realized the airships' weaknesses. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "83 Years Later, Many Questions Remain About the Hindenburg Disaster," 6 May 2020 The drones will be able to engage in electronic warfare as well as intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions and swap quickly between those roles, according to Boeing. Brad Lendon, CNN, "Australian military gets first drone that can fly with artificial intelligence," 5 May 2020 In truth, spiritual warfare idioms have been diversely invoked – and unevenly received – across the continent. Benjamin Kirby, Quartz Africa, "Pentecostals are in a “spiritual war” against coronavirus in Africa—as are some political leaders," 1 May 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for warfare

Middle English, from werre, warre war + fare journey, passage — more at fare

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Time Traveler for warfare

Time Traveler

The first known use of warfare was in the 15th century

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Statistics for warfare

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Warfare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warfare. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for warfare


How to pronounce warfare (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of warfare

: military fighting in a war
: activity that is done as part of a struggle between competing groups, companies, etc.


war·​fare | \ ˈwȯr-ˌfer How to pronounce warfare (audio) \

Kids Definition of warfare

1 : military fighting between enemies
2 : conflict between opposing forces or for a particular end

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Comments on warfare

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