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

That’s easy to forget now that most of us get around by other means, but horses were central to human mobility for millennia, and much of our history of warfare and economy depended on that mobility. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA rules out archeologists’ best bet for horse domestication," 25 Feb. 2018 Reinhard Hardegen, a leading German submarine commander of World War II who brought U-boat warfare to the doorstep of New York Harbor in the winter of 1942, died June 9. Richard Goldstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Reinhard Hardegen, 105, who led U-boats to US shore," 23 June 2018 Nicaragua is not plagued with the gang warfare or drug-cartel violence that has hit other parts of Central America. Tracy Wilkinson, latimes.com, "For the first time under Trump, U.S. punishes Nicaraguan officials for violent demonstrations," 7 June 2018 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

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

13 May 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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