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

The world witnessed the sickening consequences of modern warfare. Aaron Schnoor, WSJ, "The Great War Produced Some Great Poetry," 9 Nov. 2018 Readers were being presented with a fairly wide range of viewpoints in the popular press, on speed records and aviation developments but also threats of warfare and poison gas bombs. Angela Chen, The Verge, "A historian explains how people of the past imagined the future," 20 July 2018 The amount of charcoal in the sediment cores suddenly increases by two orders of magnitude in those layers, which happens to coincide with historical records of open warfare in the Quijos just after the largest of the uprisings. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Supposedly pristine South American forest had been pre-Columbian farmland," 17 July 2018 Tiny Eritrea, located on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and across the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula, has been ruled by Afwerki since gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after years of rebel warfare. Washington Post, "Eritrea leader visits Ethiopia on Saturday in historic thaw," 13 July 2018 Secluded on the second floor of the State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building, just down the hall from the Counterterrorism Bureau, is the spy-proof chamber where the future of American warfare is being fought, one tweet at a time. Abigail Tracy, The Hive, "“A Different Kind of Propaganda”: Has America Lost the Information War?," 23 Apr. 2018 The exhibition will also include objects relating to gas warfare from the museum’s collection. Dan Kelly, kansascity, "KC events Feb. 22-28: Harlem Globetrotters, ‘Finding Neverland,’ Jay Pharoah," 19 Feb. 2018 The company had worked with Definers, a dark-arts public-relations firm that specializes in information warfare, but Facebook severed the relationship on Wednesday following the New York Times report. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 Thucydides was the first historian to understand the role of economics in warfare. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "History Made by Men, Not Gods," 9 Nov. 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

9 Dec 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

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