Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old North French
Origin: werre, from Old French guerre

war

noun
     
war S3 W1
1 [uncountable and countable] when there is fighting between two or more countries or between opposing groups within a country, involving large numbers of soldiers and weapons [≠ peace]COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
win/lose a war fight a war/wage (a) war (=used about countries or groups) fight in a war (=used about people) be at war (with somebody) go to war (with somebody) declare war (on somebody) war breaks out also the outbreak of war civil war (=a war between opposing groups within a country) world war nuclear war the war years
America's defeat in the Vietnam War
He served as a pilot during the war.
war against/with/between
the war with Spain
They had no chance of winning the war.
Britain fought two wars in Europe in the last century.
My grandfather fought in the Second World War.
In 1920 Poland and Russia were still at war.
Quite a few women went to war, and quite a few were killed in action.
Congress has the power to declare war.
War broke out in September 1939.
His career was interrupted by the outbreak of war.
the American Civil War
He led the nation out of a depression and guided it through a world war.
Both countries wanted to avoid a nuclear war.
He had spent the war years in Moscow.
a wounded war hero
2 [uncountable and countable] a struggle over a long period of time to control something harmful
war on/against
the State's war on drugs
the war against racism
3 [uncountable and countable] a situation in which a person or group is fighting for power, influence, or control:
No one wants to start a trade war here.
a ratings war between the major TV networks
price war
4

be in the wars

British English spoken used, often humorously, to say that someone has lots of injuries or health problems:
You've really been in the wars lately, haven't you?
5

this means war

spoken used humorously to say that you are ready to fight or argue about something

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