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

Iran's dictator slamming the move as psychological warfare. Fox News, "The unhinged left," 8 Aug. 2018 Pruitt’s brand of alchemy may have attracted voters who see politics as ideological warfare, but not those who want politicians to promise that their roads will be paved and then pave those roads. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "How the EPA's Scott Pruitt Became the Most Dangerous Member of Trump’s Cabinet," 8 Feb. 2018 In liberal bastions like metro New York and California, the Trump tax overhaul has been criticized as economic warfare. Josh Petri, Bloomberg.com, "Your Evening Briefing," 12 Jan. 2018 The review panel will go out and gather information from the various operations units - which includes the Army Rangers, Green Berets, Army Delta units, Navy SEAL teams and special warfare units, and Marine and Air Force special operators. Fox News, "General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops," 13 Aug. 2019 That there are problems with the mine warfare unit is well known to the Navy. Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, "Iran Has Hundreds of Naval Mines. U.S. Navy Minesweepers Find Old Dishwashers and Car Parts.," 9 Aug. 2019 His screaming guitar echoes his generation’s fears in the face of the Vietnam War: His lingering notes sound like the howl of planes, bombs and warfare. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Watch the 10 Most Memorable Performances at Woodstock," 9 Aug. 2019 After tackling tank warfare in 2014's Fury, director David Ayer may be returning to the genre. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "David Ayer in Talks to Direct WWII Tank Drama 'El-Alamein' for Lionsgate," 8 Aug. 2019 Though his psychological warfare failed against the Bhoys at the Estadio Nacional, the naturalised-Frenchman used it to brilliant effect throughout his career, propelling him into the public eye in a manner never before seen with other coaches. SI.com, "Helenio Herrera: The Innovator Who Single-Handedly Changed the Beautiful Game," 7 Aug. 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

2 Sep 2019

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 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).


to spread over or through

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