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

Trump is the first president since 1941 not to name a science adviser, a position created during World War II to guide the Oval Office on technical matters ranging from nuclear warfare to global pandemics. New York Times, BostonGlobe.com, "In Trump administration, science advice unwelcome," 9 June 2018 Trump is the first president since 1941 not to name a science adviser, a position created during World War II to guide the Oval Office on technical matters ranging from nuclear warfare to global pandemics. Coral Davenport, The Seattle Times, "In Trump White House, science is unwelcome and so is advice," 9 June 2018 The Day the World Changed is notable not just for these stories, but for its dramatic visualizations of a world scarred by nuclear warfare. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Holograms, campfire horror stories, and OK Go: the best VR and AR from the Tribeca Film Festival," 27 May 2018 What would be the role of the 7th Fleet in nuclear warfare? Time, "'We're Ready, if Our Nation Calls.' A Top U.S. Navy Commander in the Pacific on China, North Korea and More," 9 Feb. 2018 But such open warfare among Indiana's dominant Republican party is rare — and a clear sign that the #metoo movement has hit the Indiana Statehouse with full force. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Defiant AG Curtis Hill refuses to resign; two women speak publicly about allegations," 6 July 2018 The successful campaign of information warfare that’s been waged since the late 1990s, in large part by prominent conservative media organizations, has warped both the definition of news and shifted the boundaries of what people consider newsworthy. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "The gospel of Elon Musk, according to his flock," 26 June 2018 He was convinced, according to several people familiar with his plan, that economic warfare was the key to the overthrow of the government in Tehran. Mark Mazzetti, New York Times, "Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election," 19 May 2018 After graduating from Yale Law School, Kavanaugh spent his early career steeped in Republican politics and partisan warfare in the nation's capital. Ann E. Marimow, chicagotribune.com, "5 things to know about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh," 9 July 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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Phrases Related to warfare

psychological warfare

Statistics for warfare

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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