Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


War

War

,
Adj.
Ware; aware.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.

War

,
Noun.
[OE. & AS.
werre
; akin to OHG.
werra
scandal, quarrel, sedition,
werran
to confound, mix, D.
warren
, G.
wirren
, ver
wirren
, 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.

War

,
Verb.
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?
Shakespeare
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.

War

,
Verb.
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.

Webster 1828 Edition


War

WAR

,
Noun.
[G., to perplex, embroil, disturb. The primary sense of the root is to strive, struggle, urge, drive, or to turn, to twist.]
1.
A contest between nations or states, carried on by force, either for defense, or for revenging insults and redressing wrongs, for the extension of commerce or acquisition of territory, or for obtaining and establishing the superiority and dominion of one over the other. These objects are accomplished by the slaughter or capture of troops, and the capture and destruction of ships, towns and property. Among rude nations, war is often waged and carried on for plunder. 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. When war is commenced by attacking a nation in peace, it si called an offensive war, and such attack is aggressive. When war is undertaken to repel invasion or the attacks of an enemy, it is called defensive, and a defensive war is considered as justifiable. Very few of the wars that have desolated nations and deluged the earth with blood, have been justifiable. Happy would it be for mankind, if the prevalence of Christian principles might ultimately extinguish the spirit of war, and if the ambition to be great, might yield to the ambition of being good.
Preparation for war is sometimes the best security for peace.
2.
In poetical language, instruments of war.
His complement of stores, and total war.
3.
Poetically, forces; army.
Oer the embattled ranks the waves return, and overwhelm their war.
4. The profession of arms; art of war; as a fierce man of war. Isaiah 2.
5.
Hostility; state of opposition or contest; act of opposition.
6.
Enmity; disposition to contention.
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart. Psalm 55.
Man of war, in naval affairs, a ship of large size, armed and equipped for attack or defense.
Holy war, a crusade; a war undertaken to deliver the Holy Land, or Judea, from infidels. These holy wars were carried on by most unholy means.

WAR

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To make war; to invade or attack a nation or state with force of arms; to carry on hostilities; or to be in a state of contest by violence.
He teacheth my hands to war. 2 Samuel 22.
And they warred against eh Midianites. Numbers 31.
Why should I war without the walls of Troy?
2.
To contend; to strive violently; to be in a state of opposition.
Lusts which war against the soul. 1 Peter 2.

WAR

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To make war upon; as, to war the Scot. [Not used.]
2.
To carry on a contest.
That thou mightest war a good warfare. 1 Timothy 1.

Definition 2021


War

War

See also: war, WAR, wär, and war-

English

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, an 1887 painting by Victor Vasnetsov. The Lamb is visible at the top.

Proper noun

War

  1. The personification of war, often depicted in armor, and riding a red horse.
  2. a city in West Virginia
  3. Any of several wars, taken specifically.

Usage notes

(a war, taken specifically): "The War" frequently refers to the Second World War (World War II/WW2/WWII) in informal contexts in Britain, and less commonly so in the United States and Canada

Synonyms

  • (the personification of war): "the red rider"

See also

Translations

Anagrams

war

war

See also: War, WAR, wär, and war-

English

Alternative forms

Noun

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.
    The war was largely between Sunni and Shia militants.
    • 1917, Henry Ford, chapter 17, in My Life and Work:
      Nobody can deny that war is a profitable business for those who like that kind of money. War is an orgy of money, just as it is an orgy of blood.
    • 1944 June 27, Herbert Hoover, speech in Chicago, Illinois, to the 23rd Republican National Convention; quoted in Linda Carol Harms Case, Bold Beliefs in Camouflage: A–Z Briefings: A Valuable Resource Highlighting an Extraordinary Collection of Prayers, Military Quotations, Scripture Verses, Bible Stories, Hymns, and Testimonies, Relevant to Core Values and Keywords Used by Chaplains, Leaders, Veterans, and Other Members of the American Armed Forces, Victoria, B.C.; Neche, N.D.: FriesenPress, January 2013, ISBN 978-1-77097-632-0, page 203:
      Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die. It is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war.
    • 1969, Norman Whitfield; Barrett Strong (lyrics), War”, in War & Peace, performed by Edwin Starr:
      War, huh, good God / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing, listen to me / Oh, war, I despise / 'Cause it means destruction of innocent lives / War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes / When their sons go off to fight and lose their lives
    • 2007, Carlos Ramirez-Faria, Concise Encyclopaedia of World History:
      Germany declared war on France, who reciprocated, on August 3 [1939], and England declared war on Germany on August 4, when Belgium was already under invasion.
    • 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. [] One thing that is true, though, is that murder rates have fallen over the centuries, as policing has spread and the routine carrying of weapons has diminished. Modern society may not have done anything about war. But peace is a lot more peaceful.
  2. (countable) A particular conflict of this kind.
    • 1865, Herman Melville, "The Surrender at Appomattox":
      All human tribes glad token see
      In the close of the wars of Grant and Lee.
    • 1999, Bill Clinton at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C, November 8 1999:
      A second challenge will be to implement, with our allies, a plan of stability in the Balkans, so that the region's bitter ethnic problems can no longer be exploited by dictators and Americans do not have to cross the Atlantic again to fight in another war.
  3. (countable) By extension, any conflict, or anything resembling a conflict.
    You look like you've been through the wars.
    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.
      In the US, conservatives rail against the "war on Christmas".
    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. (obsolete, uncountable) Instruments of war.
    • Prior
      His complement of stores, and total war.
  5. (obsolete) Armed forces.
    • Milton
      On their embattled ranks the waves return, / And overwhelm their war.
  6. (uncountable) A particular card game for two players, notable for having its outcome predetermined by how the cards are dealt.
    • 2004, Karen Salyer McElmurray, Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven
      We played crazy eights, war, fifty-two card pickup. Rudy flipped the whole deck across the table at me and the cards sailed to the floor, kings, queens, deuces.

Antonyms

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

See also

Verb

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).
    • c. 1599, William Shakespeare, King Henry V, act 3, sc. 1:
      Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more . . .
      Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
      And teach them how to war.
    • 1882, George Bernard Shaw, Cashel Byron's Profession, ch. 14:
      This vein of reflection, warring with his inner knowledge that he had been driven by fear and hatred . . ., produced an exhausting whirl in his thoughts.
    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.

Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: fell · different · care · #389: war · short · able · five

Anagrams


Breton

Preposition

war

  1. on, over
    war ar sizhun ― during the week
Inflection
singular plural
1 warnon 1 warnomp
2 warnout 2 warnoc'h
3 m warnañ 3 warno
3 f warni

Derived terms


Chuukese

Verb

war

  1. to arrive

Dusner

Noun

war

  1. (fresh) water

References

  • D. C. Kamholz, Austronesians in Papua (2014, Berkeley)

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -ɑr

Etymology

From Middle Dutch werre, warre (confusion, disarray, conflict), from Old Dutch *werra, from Proto-Germanic *werrō. Cognate with English war, which was loaned via Frankish and Old Northern French.

Noun

war f (plural warren, diminutive warretje n)

  1. confusion, disarray
    • Josien Wolthuizen & Hanneloes Pen, "Man doodgestoken in fietsenwinkel Nieuw-West", in Het Parool, March 15 2016.
      Volgens een bovenbuurvrouw kwamen hulpdiensten rond 12 uur 's middags naar de fietsenwinkel. "Ik had geen idee wat er aan de hand was. Maar de zoon van de eigenaar kwam eraan en was helemaal in de war. (...)"
  2. tangle, mess
    • "Wist je dat papierklemmen je leven veel gemakkelijker kunnen maken?", in Het Laatste Nieuws, January 29 2016.
      Van statief voor je smartphone tot instrument om oortjes uit de war te houden, tot zelfs een portefeuille. De mogelijkheden met papierklemmen zijn eindeloos, maar de Japanner Venlee geeft je alvast 15 lifehacks.
  3. an elevated area on the floor of a body of water, a kind of contraption for luring and catching fish, where nets and fykes could be installed
    • G. Karsten, "Eenvorme, Informe, Yefforme", in De Speelwagen, issue 10 of year 4, 1949, 307.
      Welnu, deze stoepen of warren bevonden zich aan de walkant en niet midden in het water.
    • Handtvesten, privilegien, willekeuren ende ordonnantien der Stadt Enchuysen., 1667, 345.
      De Schutters van de respective Steden, werden geauctoriseert, alle de Fuycken, buyten de benoemde Warren in de Wateringh staende, te mogen visiteren, of de selve keur mogen houden ofte niet, (...)

Derived terms

Related terms

  • wirwar

Dutch Low Saxon

Alternative forms

  • (Low Prussian) wahr

Etymology

Cognate to German wahr.

Adjective

war

  1. (in some dialects) true

Elfdalian

Etymology

From Old Norse hvar, from Proto-Germanic *hwar. Cognate with Swedish var.

Adverb

war

  1. where, in what place

German

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /vaːɐ̯/
  • Homophone: wahr

Verb

war

  1. First-person singular preterite of sein.
    • 1788, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Egmont
      Ich hätte ihn heiraten können, und glaube, ich war nie in ihn verliebt.
      I could have married him; yet I believe I was never really in love with him.
  2. Third-person singular preterite of sein.
    • 1788, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Egmont
      Gott tröst' ihn! Das war ein Herr!
      God bless him! He was a king indeed!

Kurdish

Noun

war m

  1. place

Luxembourgish

Verb

war

  1. first-person singular preterite indicative of sinn
  2. third-person singular preterite indicative of sinn

Mpur

Noun

war

  1. water

References

  • A Sketch of Mpur, in Languages of the Eastern Bird's Head (2002)

Old High German

Adjective

wār

  1. true

Old Saxon

Adjective

wār

  1. true

Declension



Somali

Noun

war ?

  1. news
    wax war miyaa hey-sa? - Do you have some news?

Tocharian B

Etymology

From Proto-Tocharian *wär, from Proto-Indo-European *wódr̥ (water) through a regular (endocentric) thematicization *udrom. Compare Tocharian A wär.

Noun

war

  1. water

See also