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 Dictionary entry overview: What does warfare mean? 

WARFARE (noun)
  The noun WARFARE has 2 senses:

1. the waging of armed conflict against an enemy
2. an active struggle between competing entities

  Familiarity information: WARFARE used as a noun is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

WARFARE (noun)

Sense 1warfare [BACK TO TOP]


The waging of armed conflict against an enemy

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions


war; warfare

Context example:

thousands of people were killed in the war

Hypernyms ("warfare" is a kind of...):

action; military action (a military engagement)

Meronyms (parts of "warfare"):

battle; conflict; engagement; fight (a hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war)

armed combat; combat (an engagement fought between two military forces)

aggression (the act of initiating hostilities)

Domain category:

armed forces; armed services; military; military machine; war machine (the military forces of a nation)

Domain member category:

state of war; war (a legal state created by a declaration of war and ended by official declaration during which the international rules of war apply)

despoiler; freebooter; looter; pillager; plunderer; raider; spoiler (someone who takes spoils or plunder (as in war))

side (one of two or more contesting groups)

de-escalation ((war) a reduction in intensity (of a crisis or a war))

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "warfare"):

limited war (a war whose objective is less than the unconditional defeat of the enemy)

hot war (actual fighting between the warring parties)

world war (a war in which the major nations of the world are involved)

international jihad; jehad; jihad (a holy war waged by Muslims against infidels)

information warfare; IW (the use of information or information technology during a time of crisis or conflict to achieve or promote specific objectives over a specific adversary or adversaries)

bioattack; biologic attack; biological attack; biological warfare; BW (the use of bacteria or viruses or toxins to destroy men and animals or food)

chemical operations; chemical warfare (warfare using chemical agents to kill or injure or incapacitate the enemy)

civil war (a war between factions in the same country)

psychological warfare; war of nerves (the use of psychological tactics to destroy the opponents' morale)

Instance hyponyms:

Thirty Years' War (a series of conflicts (1618-1648) between Protestants and Catholics staring in Germany and spreading until France and Denmark and Sweden were opposing the Holy Roman Empire and Spain)

Spanish War; Spanish-American War (a war between the United States and Spain in 1898)

Seven Years' War (a war of England and Prussia against France and Austria (1756-1763); Britain and Prussia got the better of it)

Russo-Japanese War (Japanese victory in the war with Russia (1904-1905) gave Japan power over Korea and Manchuria)

Punic War (one of the three wars between Carthage and Rome that resulted in the destruction of Carthage and its annexation by Rome; 264-241 BC, 218-201 BC, 149-146 BC)

Trojan War ((Greek mythology) a great war fought between Greece and Troy; the Greeks sailed to Troy to recover Helen of Troy, the beautiful wife of Menelaus who had been abducted by Paris; after ten years the Greeks (via the Trojan Horse) achieved final victory and burned Troy to the ground)

Vietnam; Vietnam War (a prolonged war (1954-1975) between the communist armies of North Vietnam who were supported by the Chinese and the armies of South Vietnam who were supported by the United States)

War of Greek Independence (the Greeks rebelled against Turkish rule in 1821; with the support of England and France and Russia they won independence in 1828 at Navarino (although the country included only half its present size))

War of the Austrian Succession (Prussia and Austria fought over Silesia and most of the rest of Europe took sides; 1740-1748)

War of the Grand Alliance; War of the League of Augsburg (an aggressive war waged by Louis XIV against Spain and the Empire and England and Holland and other states (1689-1697))

War of the Spanish Succession (a general war in Europe (1701-1714) that broke out when Louis XIV installed his grandson on the throne of Spain; England and Holland hoped to limit Louis' power)

War of the Roses; Wars of the Roses (struggle for the English throne (1455-1485) between the house of York (white rose) and the house of Lancaster (red rose) ending with the accession of the Tudor monarch Henry VII)

War of 1812 (a war (1812-1814) between the United States and England which was trying to interfere with American trade with France)

Gulf War; Persian Gulf War (a war fought between Iraq and a coalition led by the United States that freed Kuwait from Iraqi invaders; 1990-1991)

Peloponnesian War (a war in which Athens and its allies were defeated by the league centered on Sparta; 431-404 BC)

Chino-Japanese War; Sino-Japanese War (a war between China and Japan (1894 and 1895) over the control of the Korean Peninsula; China was overwhelmingly defeated at Port Arthur)

Macedonian War (one the four wars between Macedonia and Rome in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, which ended in the defeat of Macedonia and its annexation as a Roman province)

Arab-Israeli War; Six Day War; Six-Day War (tension between Arabs and Israeli erupted into a brief war in June 1967; Israel emerged as a major power in the Middle East)

Arab-Israeli War; Yom Kippur War (Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in October 1973 (on Yom Kippur); Israel counterattacked and drove the Syrians back and crossed the Suez Canal into Egypt)

Balkan Wars (two wars (1912-1913) that were fought over the last of the European territories of the Ottoman Empire and that left the area around Constantinople (now Istanbul) as the only Ottoman territory in Europe)

Boer War (either of two wars: the first when the Boers fought England in order to regain the independence they had given up to obtain British help against the Zulus (1880-1881); the second when the Orange Free State and Transvaal declared war on Britain (1899-1902))

Crimean War (a war in Crimea between Russia and a group of nations including England and France and Turkey and Sardinia; 1853-1856)

Franco-Prussian War (a war between France and Prussia that ended the Second Empire in France and led to the founding of the German empire; 1870-1871)

French and Indian War (a war in North America between France and Britain (both aided by American Indian tribes); 1755-1760)

Hundred Years' War (the series of wars fought intermittently between France and England; 1337-1453)

Gulf War; Iran-Iraq War (a dispute over control of the waterway between Iraq and Iran broke out into open fighting in 1980 and continued until 1988, when they accepted a UN cease-fire resolution)

Korean War (a war between North and South Korea; South Korea was aided by the United States and other members of the United Nations; 1950-1953)

Mexican War (after disputes over Texas lands that were settled by Mexicans the United States declared war on Mexico in 1846 and by treaty in 1848 took Texas and California and Arizona and New Mexico and Nevada and Utah and part of Colorado and paid Mexico $15,000,000)

Napoleonic Wars (a series of wars fought between France (led by Napoleon Bonaparte) and alliances involving England and Prussia and Russia and Austria at different times; 1799-1815)

Sense 2warfare [BACK TO TOP]


An active struggle between competing entities

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions


warfare; war

Context examples:

a price war / a war of wits / diplomatic warfare

Hypernyms ("warfare" is a kind of...):

battle; conflict; struggle (an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals))

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "warfare"):

drug war (conflict between law enforcement and those who deal in illegal drugs)

trench warfare (a struggle (usually prolonged) between competing entities in which neither side is able to win)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Good wine needs no bush." (English proverb)

"Old age comes with friends." (Albanian proverb)

"If the wind comes from an empty cave, it's not without a reason." (Chinese proverb)

"Don't postpone until tomorrow, what you can do today." (Dutch proverb)

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