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 There are those who hunt the mythical beings to use their ancestral powers for warfare, while others, seemingly more benevolent, wish to put them on display at a theme park under the pretense of safety. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2021 As Popular Mechanics reports, Shoigu recently appeared at a session of the Russian Geographical Society, and made some absolutely incredible statements that could be taken to mean that Russia is open to the idea of cloning humans for warfare. Mike Wehner, BGR, 24 May 2021 The products are widely used in scientific research, ship maintenance and oil production, but are also potent tools for undersea warfare, thanks to advances in battery power, underwater communication and artificial intelligence. Jeremy Page, WSJ, 27 Apr. 2021 First, the country was home to a thriving community of Ashkenazi Jews (90 percent of whom were killed during the Holocaust), and second, its landscape of swamps and forests was well suited for guerrilla warfare. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Mar. 2021 But after days of intraparty warfare and feverish late-night negotiations, a reset was desperately needed -- and the best Biden could offer. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 1 Oct. 2021 Together, all this evidence shows that temperatures in the city rose higher than those of volcanoes, warfare and normal city fires. Christopher R. Moore, The Conversation, 20 Sep. 2021 The native occupants of the newly decolonized land of America were quickly decimated by systematic warfare and new diseases as the new settlers expanded their territory. Nicholas Dirks, Scientific American, 10 Aug. 2021 This would presumably be a mix of reconnaissance, electronic warfare and strike vehicles. David Hambling, Forbes, 17 June 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Warfare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warfare. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for warfare



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

More from Merriam-Webster on warfare

Nglish: Translation of warfare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of warfare for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about warfare


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