world war


Definition of world war

: a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world especially, capitalized both Ws : either of two such wars of the first half of the 20th century

Examples of world war in a Sentence

He fought in both World Wars. The nations were prepared for world war.
Recent Examples on the Web Climate change campaigners have compared the endeavor to fighting a world war. Umair Irfan, Vox, "A major climate report will slam the door on wishful thinking," 5 Oct. 2018 Two world wars left much of Europe impoverished and in ruins. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Incredible Shrinking Europe," 11 Feb. 2019 Even the world wars furnished moneymaking opportunities. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "What’s on at the Theater? A Comprehensive Guide to London’s Best Shows This Fall," 18 Oct. 2018 From 1914 to 1945—a period marked by two world wars and the Great Depression—trade plunged from 38% of global economic activity to 7%. Jacob M. Schlesinger, WSJ, "The Catch-22 of Globalization," 21 Jan. 2019 Our American ancestors braved the oceans, tame the wilderness, won a revolution and fought to victory in two world wars. Fox News, "Jordan, Meadows ask Trump to declassify Carter Page docs," 6 Sep. 2018 The political boundaries are based on a 1934 map, stuck in time between two world wars. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New England museums to visit this summer and fall," 4 July 2018 Cottage cheese was once a reliable character actor, standing in for meat during two world wars, filling in for ricotta and starring on diet plates. Kim Severson, New York Times, "Is America Ready to Love Cottage Cheese Again?," 26 June 2018 Three decades of British rule between the two world wars helped establish some of the fault lines of today's Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Britain's withdrawal in 1948 led to the eventual establishment of Israel and Jordan. NBC News, "Britain's Prince William starts Israel visit by honoring Holocaust victims," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'world war.' 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 world war

1848, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of world war was in 1848

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Cite this Entry

“World war.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for world war

world war


English Language Learners Definition of world war

: a war involving many nations of the world

More from Merriam-Webster on world war

Britannica English: Translation of world war for Arabic Speakers

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a period of high artistic development

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