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

As the struggle to survive intensified, prisoners fought among themselves in what devolved into tribal warfare between nationalities. James M. Scott, WSJ, "Five Best: James M. Scott," 8 Nov. 2018 But some social-media watchers said they were still surprised at the speed with which the Santa Fe shooting descended into information warfare. Drew Harwell, BostonGlobe.com, "Fake Facebook accounts and online lies multiply in hours after Santa Fe school shooting," 18 May 2018 SATURDAY Drone warfare: SF Bay Area Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area political events: Racial justice, SF mayoral forums," 25 Apr. 2018 The first step must be to address the danger of warfare on the Korean Peninsula.... Robert B. Zoellick, WSJ, "How to Negotiate With Kim Jong Un," 24 Feb. 2019 Then many more — all willing to risk sometimes all their savings to flee more than four years of warfare and deepening humanitarian miseries. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, "How hundreds of Yemenis fleeing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis ended up on a resort island in South Korea," 22 June 2018 In the late 1960s, as Mao broke away from Moscow, open warfare erupted along the Far East border, with Chinese soldiers invading disputed islands on the Amur River. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "The New Beijing-Moscow Axis," 1 Feb. 2019 The nature of warfare—or at least the wars the U.S. Army is willing to prepare for—is shifting away from the guerrilla wars of the 9/11 era to big power competition and preparation for the Army to fight full-scale land battles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Army Will Pit Two Light Tank Designs Against One Another," 18 Dec. 2018 With open cabinet warfare over fiscal policy as well as Brexit, and Labour under far-left control, many companies feel no party now speaks for them. The Economist, "Hard Brexit is unravelling," 28 June 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

15 Apr 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 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

What made you want to look up warfare? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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