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[kam-peyn] /kæmˈpeɪn/
  1. military operations for a specific objective.
  2. Obsolete. the military operations of an army in the field for one season.
a systematic course of aggressive activities for some specific purpose:
a sales campaign.
the competition by rival political candidates and organizations for public office.
verb (used without object)
to serve in or go on a campaign:
He planned to campaign for the candidate. He campaigned in France.
verb (used with object)
to race (a horse, boat, car, etc.) in a number or series of competitions.
Origin of campaign
1620-30; < French campagne < Italian campagna < Late Latin campānia level district, equivalent to Latin camp(us) field + -ān(us) -an + -ia -ia
Related forms
campaigner, noun
countercampaign, noun
precampaign, noun, adjective
recampaign, verb
uncampaigning, adjective
2. drive, effort, push, offensive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for campaign
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The campaign of the previous month had been a hard one for the cavalry.

    Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd
  • The three generals now held a council of war, to decide on a plan of campaign.

  • The campaign of 1876 was a very significant event in the history of Sulu.

    The History of Sulu Najeeb M. Saleeby
  • Condé and Turenne were after their campaign with the Imperialists at the height of their fame.

    Reflections Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld
  • So of Henry Sidney's campaign, and so of the ill-fated Essex.

    The Glories of Ireland Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox
British Dictionary definitions for campaign


a series of coordinated activities, such as public speaking and demonstrating, designed to achieve a social, political, or commercial goal: a presidential campaign, an advertising campaign
(military) a number of complementary operations aimed at achieving a single objective, usually constrained by time or geographic area
(intransitive) often foll by for. to conduct, serve in, or go on a campaign
Derived Forms
campaigner, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French campagne open country, from Italian campagna, from Late Latin campānia, from Latin campus field
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for campaign

1640s, "operation of an army in the field," from French campagne "campaign," literally "open country," from Old French champagne "countryside, open country" (suited to military maneuvers), from Late Latin campania "level country" (source of Italian campagna, Spanish campaña, Portuguese campanha), from Latin campus "a field" (see campus). Old armies spent winters in quarters and took to the "open field" to seek battle in summer. Extension of meaning from military to political is American English, 1809.


1701, from campaign (n.). Political sense is from 1801. Related: Campaigned; campaigning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for campaign


Related Terms

whispering campaign

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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