follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

war1

[wawr] /wɔr/
noun
1.
a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
2.
a state or period of armed hostility or active military operations:
The two nations were at war with each other.
3.
a contest carried on by force of arms, as in a series of battles or campaigns:
the War of 1812.
4.
armed fighting, as a science, profession, activity, or art; methods or principles of waging armed conflict:
War is the soldier's business.
5.
active hostility or contention; conflict; contest:
a war of words.
6.
aggressive business conflict, as through severe price cutting in the same industry or any other means of undermining competitors:
a fare war among airlines; a trade war between nations.
7.
a struggle to achieve a goal: the war on cancer; a war against poverty;
a war for hearts and minds.
8.
Cards.
  1. a game for two or more persons, played with a 52-card pack evenly divided between the players, in which each player turns up one card at a time with the higher card taking the lower, and in which, when both turned up cards match, each player lays one card face down and turns up another, the player with the higher card of the second turn taking all the cards laid down.
  2. an occasion in this game when both turned up cards match.
9.
Archaic. a battle.
verb (used without object), warred, warring.
10.
to make or carry on war; fight:
to war with a neighboring nation.
11.
to carry on active hostility or contention:
Throughout her life she warred with sin and corruption.
12.
to be in conflict or in a state of strong opposition:
The temptation warred with his conscience.
adjective
13.
of, belonging to, used in, or due to war:
war preparations; war hysteria.
Origin
late Old English
1150
before 1150; (noun) Middle English, late Old English werre < Old North French < Germanic; cognate with Old High German werra strife; (v.) Middle English, late Old English werrien (transitive) to make war upon, derivative of the noun; compare Old French guerrer, Old North French werreier; akin to war2

war2

[wahr] /wɑr/
adjective, adverb, Scot. and North England
1.
Origin
1150-1200; Middle English werre < Old Norse verri worse

war.

1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for war
  • Privateers were privately owned, armed ships hired by governments during time of war.
  • The left often complains about the culture war as if it's a war they don't want to fight.
  • New ways of healing are as much a product of war as are new ways of killing.
  • It is my small war against prejudice.
  • News of the war's end came by leaflets dropped from planes.
  • They have persevered through war and its fragile aftermath.
  • Government declarations of war on drugs or disease often end in losing battles.
  • Nobody forced him to invade people's privacy or sell the war.
  • With enhanced emergency medicine, many soldiers are coming home from war with grievous injuries instead of being killed.
  • On television, however, the war zones have not been nearly as visible.
British Dictionary definitions for war

war

/wɔː/
noun
1.
open armed conflict between two or more parties, nations, or states related adjectives belligerent martial
2.
a particular armed conflict: the 1973 war in the Middle East
3.
the techniques of armed conflict as a study, science, or profession
4.
any conflict or contest: a war of wits, the war against crime
5.
(modifier) of, relating to, resulting from, or characteristic of war: a war hero, war damage, a war story
6.
to have had a good war, to have made the most of the opportunities presented to one during wartime
7.
(informal) in the wars, (esp of a child) hurt or knocked about, esp as a result of quarrelling and fighting
verb wars, warring, warred
8.
(intransitive) to conduct a war
Word Origin
C12: from Old Northern French werre (variant of Old French guerre), of Germanic origin; related to Old High German werra

War.

abbreviation
1.
Warwickshire
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for war
n.

late Old English (c.1050), wyrre, werre, from Old North French werre "war" (Modern French guerre), from Frankish *werra, from Proto-Germanic *werso (cf. Old Saxon werran, Old High German werran, German verwirren "to confuse, perplex"). Cognates suggest the original sense was "to bring into confusion."

Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian guerra are from the same source; Romanic peoples turned to Germanic for a word to avoid Latin bellum because its form tended to merge with bello- "beautiful." There was no common Germanic word for "war" at the dawn of historical times. Old English had many poetic words for "war" (wig, guð, heaðo, hild, all common in personal names), but the usual one to translate Latin bellum was gewin "struggle, strife" (related to win).

First record of war time is late 14c. Warpath (1775) is originally in reference to North American Indians, as are war-whoop (1761), war-paint (1826), and war-dance (1757). War crime first attested 1906. War chest is attested from 1901; now usually figurative. War games translates German Kriegspiel (see kriegspiel).

v.

"to make war on," mid-12c.; see war (n.). Related: Warred; warring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for war

war

Related Terms

hot war, psywar, shooting war


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for war

war.

warrant
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
war in the Bible

The Israelites had to take possession of the Promised Land by conquest. They had to engage in a long and bloody war before the Canaanitish tribes were finally subdued. Except in the case of Jericho and Ai, the war did not become aggressive till after the death of Joshua. Till then the attack was always first made by the Canaanites. Now the measure of the iniquity of the Canaanites was full, and Israel was employed by God to sweep them away from off the face of the earth. In entering on this new stage of the war, the tribe of Judah, according to divine direction, took the lead. In the days of Saul and David the people of Israel engaged in many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from first to last presents but few periods of peace. The Christian life is represented as a warfare, and the Christian graces are also represented under the figure of pieces of armour (Eph. 6:11-17; 1 Thess. 5:8; 2 Tim. 2:3, 4). The final blessedness of believers is attained as the fruit of victory (Rev. 3:21).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with war
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for war

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for war

6
6
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with war

Nearby words for war