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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
  • The theme of those events has moved from more general topics, such as running a political campaign, to debates on specific issues.
  • Our political cartoonist casts his eye towards the presidential campaign.
  • Adding to this have been the many campaign ads attacking big government that have filled the airwaves as the election approaches.
  • The first sentence of the new women's sports print and digital ad campaign is a bit jarring.
  • The elections are in three days, and for the first time in a very dull race, the campaign is getting interesting.
  • The staff of a losing campaign are a lot more ready and able to speak frankly than the staff of the victor.
  • Yet Truman miraculously won the election, and his 1948 campaign promptly assumed the proportions of a legend.
  • You know you have to spend some real money on a marketing campaign to start generating sales.
  • Harvard is set to announce a major fund-raising campaign, but the public kickoff has been delayed until a new president is chosen.
  • His campaign dwells on the plight of the poor and the gap between haves and have-nots.
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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