Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of war
Meaning of war by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From Middle English werre, from Late Old English werre, wyrre "armed conflict" from Old Northern French werre ( compare Old French guerre, gwerre ), from Frankish *werra ( “riot, disturbance, quarrel” ) from Proto-Germanic *werrō ( “mixture, mix-up, confusion” ), from Proto-Indo-European *wers- ( “to mix up, confuse, beat, thresh” ). Akin to Old High German werra ( “confusion, strife, quarrel” ) ( German verwirren ( “to confuse” ) ), Old Saxon werran ( “to confuse, perplex” ), Dutch war ( “confusion, disarray” ), Old English wyrsa, wiersa ( “worse” ), Old Norse verri ( “worse” ) ( originally "confounded, mixed up" ). Compare Latin versus ( “against, turned” ), past participle of vertere ( “turn, change, overthrow, destroy” ). More at worse, wurst .


    • ( RP ) IPA: /wɔː/, X-SAMPA: /wO:/
    • ( US ) IPA: /wɔɹ/, X-SAMPA: /wOr\/
    • Homophone: wore ( some dialects )
    • Rhymes: -ɔː( ɹ )


    war ( countable and uncountable; plural: wars )

    1. ( uncountable ) Organized, large-scale, armed conflict between countries or between national, ethnic, or other sizeable groups, usually involving the engagement of military forces.
    2. ( countable ) A particular conflict of this kind.
    3. ( countable ) By extension, any conflict, or anything resembling a conflict.
      1. ( figuratively ) A campaign against something .
        The "war on drugs" is a campaign against the use of narcotic drugs .
        The "war on terror" is a campaign against terrorist crime .
      2. ( business, countable ) A bout of fierce competition in trade .
        I reaped the benefit of the car dealerships' price war, getting my car for far less than it's worth .
        The cellular phone companies were engaged in a freebie war, each offering various services thrown in when one purchased a plan .
    4. ( uncountable ) A particular card game for two players, notable for having its outcome predetermined by how the cards are dealt .


    See also

    • battle


    war ( third-person singular simple present wars present participle warring, simple past and past participle warred )

    1. ( intransitive ) To engage in conflict ( may be followed by "with" to specify the foe ).
      To war the Scot, and borders to defend. — Daniel .
    2. To carry on, as a contest; to wage .
      That thou […] mightest war a good warfare. — Tim. i. 18 .




    By Wiktionary ( 2012/06/12 23:42 UTC Version )


    from the 1983 movie Wargames, which featured war-dialing



    1. Relating to gaining access to network resources, such as Wi-Fi access, by locating and exploiting unprotected access addresses .

    Related terms

Explanation of war by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. make or wage war

    1. a concerted campaign to end something that is injurious

    2. the war on poverty
      the war against crime
    3. the waging of armed conflict against an enemy

    4. thousands of people were killed in the war
    5. an active struggle between competing entities

    6. a price war
      a war of wits
      diplomatic warfare
    7. a legal state created by a declaration of war and ended by official declaration during which the international rules of war apply

    8. war was declared in November but actual fighting did not begin until the following spring

    Definition of war by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. War a. Ware; aware. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    2. War n. [OE. & AS. werre; akin to OHG. werra scandal, quarrel, sedition, werran to confound, mix, D. warren, G. wirren, verwirren, to embroil, confound, disturb, and perhaps to E. worse; cf. OF. werre war, F. querre, of Teutonic origin. Cf. Guerrilla, Warrior.]

      1. A contest between nations or states, carried on by force, whether for defence, for revenging insults and redressing wrongs, for the extension of commerce, for the acquisition of territory, for obtaining and establishing the superiority and dominion of one over the other, or for any other purpose; armed conflict of sovereign powers; declared and open hostilities.

      Men will ever distinguish war from mere bloodshed. F. W. Robertson.

      ☞ As war is the contest of nations or states, it always implies that such contest is authorized by the monarch or the sovereign power of the nation. A war begun by attacking another nation, is called an offensive war, and such attack is aggressive. War undertaken to repel invasion, or the attacks of an enemy, is called defensive.

      2. ( Law ) A condition of belligerency to be maintained by physical force. In this sense, levying war against the sovereign authority is treason.

      3. Instruments of war. [Poetic]

      His complement of stores, and total war. Prior.

      4. Forces; army. [Poetic]

      On their embattled ranks the waves return,

      And overwhelm their war. Milton.

      5. The profession of arms; the art of war.

      Thou art but a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth. 1 Sam. xvii. 33.

      6. a state of opposition or contest; an act of opposition; an inimical contest, act, or action; enmity; hostility. “Raised impious war in heaven.” Milton.

      The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart. Ps. lv. 21.

      Civil war, a war between different sections or parties of the same country or nation. -- Holy war. See under Holy. -- Man of war. ( Naut. ) See in the Vocabulary. -- Public war, a war between independent sovereign states. -- War cry, a cry or signal used in war; as, “the Indian war cry”. -- War dance, a dance among savages preliminary to going to war. Among the North American Indians, it is begun by some distinguished chief, and whoever joins in it thereby enlists as one of the party engaged in a warlike excursion. Schoolcraft. -- War field, a field of war or battle. -- War horse, a horse used in war; the horse of a cavalry soldier; especially, a strong, powerful, spirited horse for military service; a charger. -- War paint, paint put on the face and other parts of the body by savages, as a token of going to war. “Wash the war paint from your faces.” Longfellow. -- War song, a song of or pertaining to war; especially, among the American Indians, a song at the war dance, full of incitements to military
      ardor. -- War whoop, a war cry, especially that uttered by the American Indians.

    3. War, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Warred ; p. pr. & vb. n. Warring.]
      1. To make war; to invade or attack a state or nation with force of arms; to carry on hostilities; to be in a state by violence.

      Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it. Isa. vii. 1.

      Why should I war without the walls of Troy? Shak.

      Our countrymen were warring on that day! Byron.

      2. To contend; to strive violently; to fight. “Lusts which war against the soul.” 1 Pet. ii. 11.

    4. War v. t.
      1. To make war upon; to fight. [R.]

      To war the Scot, and borders to defend. Daniel.

      2. To carry on, as a contest; to wage. [R.]

      That thou . . . mightest war a good warfare. Tim. i. 18.