war·​fare | \ ˈwȯr-ˌfer \

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

Though launched in 1960, the National Defense Course is a perfect answer to hybrid warfare. Elisabeth Braw, WSJ, "Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Military-Industrial Complex," 2 Jan. 2019 Meyers sees the destructive elements of creation — from natural disasters to warfare — as inextricably linked to the entrance of sin into the world. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "How faith leaders respond to tragedies like the California wildfires," 21 Nov. 2018 Camille choosing to stay in her mother’s house and subject herself to this psychological warfare is beginning to feel like another form of self-harm. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sharp Objects Episode 4: Something's Rotten in Wind Gap," 30 July 2018 In the winter of 1945, with German forces reeling, he was transferred to land warfare and became a battalion commander. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, "Reinhard Hardegen, Who Led U-Boats to America’s Shore, Dies at 105," 17 June 2018 The commission isn’t typically prone to partisan warfare. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Man Who Hates Criminal-Justice Reform," 7 May 2018 Michigan Department of Corrections officials say the violence at St. Louis Correctional Facility is not believed to be related to gang warfare at a South Carolina prison Sunday night that left seven inmates dead. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Mid-Michigan prison locked down after three days of gang-related fighting," 17 Apr. 2018 On most days more than a dozen Salvadoreans lost their lives to gang warfare, police shootings and domestic disputes. The Economist, "Shining light on Latin America’s homicide epidemic," 5 Apr. 2018 Another Kurdish official, Othman Sheikh Issa, said the fighters would resort to guerrilla warfare to target Turkish troops and their proxies. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Turkish troops take control of Kurdish enclave in Syria," 18 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for warfare

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for warfare

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

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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 \

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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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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