cold war

noun
1.
intense economic, political, military, and ideological rivalry between nations, short of military conflict; sustained hostile political policies and an atmosphere of strain between opposed countries.
2.
a continuing state of resentful antagonism between two parties short of open hostility or violence.
3.
(initial capital letters) rivalry after World War II between the Soviet Union and its satellites and the democratic countries of the Western world, under the leadership of the United States.
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World English Dictionary
cold war
 
n
a state of political hostility and military tension between two countries or power blocs, involving propaganda, subversion, threats, economic sanctions, and other measures short of open warfare, esp that between the American and Soviet blocs after World War II (the Cold War)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cold war
used in print Oct. 1945 by George Orwell; popularized in U.S. c.1947 by Bernard Baruch.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

cold war definition


A constant nonviolent state of hostility between the Soviet Union and the United States. The cold war began shortly after World War II, with the rapid extension of Soviet influence over eastern Europe and North Korea. With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the cold war ended. (See Berlin airlift, Berlin wall, and Iron Curtain.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Ask a defense worker about the cold war and chances are he/she was all for
  fighting it.
Both films reflect the scientific and global realities of the cold war era.
Of course thanks to some idiotic cold war treaties that is impossible.
Think of it as a peace dividend from the end of the cold war.
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