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

In a country torn apart by rugged topography and a half century of guerrilla warfare the race has managed to bring Colombians together in a way only sports can. Washington Post, "Colombian cycling ‘beetles’ chase Tour leader Bernal’s dream," 27 July 2019 Gowdy, never camera shy and well versed in the art of information warfare, appeared on cable news to keep the public updated on his investigation and publicize his findings. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "In the age of the information wars, Mueller's traditionalist approach was his major flaw," 26 July 2019 Both incidents were almost certainly a result of Russian electronic warfare. The Economist, "Attacking satellites is increasingly attractive—and dangerous," 18 July 2019 In just four years between 1914 and 1918, World War I changed the face of modern warfare, becoming one of the deadliest conflicts in world history. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "What caused World War I and what were its effects?," 11 Apr. 2019 The threats from climate change, nuclear proliferation, cyber warfare, and mass migration require the U.S. to lead the world’s democracies on these issues, which would then increase the pressure on autocracies to behave better. Trudy Rubin, The Mercury News, "Rubin: Joe Biden has advanced the key foreign-policy issue of 2020," 16 July 2019 Class warfare, social injustice, and the politics of survival play out in this riveting television adaptation, based on the acclaimed movie of the same name. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Comic-Con Saturday schedule: Marvel Studios returns to Hall H," 6 July 2019 Absolutely -- psychological warfare in a tweet right there. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "Shea Coulee Teases Britney-Themed Stage Show, Talks Importance of Pride In 2019," 11 June 2019 Siege warfare against those castles is brutal and blunt. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "How to Storm a Castle," 11 Apr. 2019

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

5 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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