War a. Ware; aware. [Obs.]
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.
Note: ☞ 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.”
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, 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.”
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.
n 1: the waging of armed conflict against an enemy; "thousands of
people were killed in the war" [syn: warfare]
2: a legal state created by a declaration of war and ended by
official declaration during which the international rules
of war apply; "war was declared in November but actual
fighting did not begin until the following spring" [syn: state
of war] [ant: peace]
3: an active struggle between competing entities; "a price
war"; "a war of wits"; "diplomatic warfare" [syn: warfare]
4: a concerted campaign to end something that is injurious;
"the war on poverty"; "the war against crime"
v : make or wage war [ant: make peace]
[also: warring, warred]
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