From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishwarwar /wɔː $ wɔːr/ ●●● S2 W1 noun 1 [countable, uncountable]WAR when there is fighting between two or more countries or between opposing groups within a country, involving large numbers of soldiers and weapons OPP peace the Vietnam War He served as a pilot during the war.war against/with/between the war with Spain2 [countable, uncountable]FIGHT FOR OR AGAINST something a struggle over a long period of time to control something harmfulwar on/against the State’s war on drugs the war against racism3 [countable, uncountable]FIGHT FOR OR AGAINST something 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 war4 → be in the wars5 → this means war → cold war, war of attrition, war of nerves, war of words, warringCOLLOCATIONSverbsfight a warThe two countries fought a brief war in 1995.fight in a war (=take part as a soldier)Her grandfather fought in the war.win/lose a warThe Allies had won the war.What would have happened if we’d lost the war?declare warIn 1941, Britain and the US declared war on Japan.wage/make war (=to start and continue a war)Their aim was to destroy the country’s capacity to wage war.go to war (=become involved in a war)It has been said that democracies don’t go to war with each other.war breaks out (=it starts)They married just before war broke out.a war rages (=continues in a very violent way)A civil war is still raging there.phrasesbe at warRussia was at war with Poland.be on the brink of war (=be about to be involved in a war)The country was on the brink of war.the outbreak of war (=the time when a war starts)A week after the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the army.the horrors of warThey wanted to forget the horrors of war they had witnessed.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + wara world warNo one wants another world war.a civil war (=between opposing groups within a country)the English Civil Wara nuclear war (=involving nuclear weapons)The possibility of nuclear war was much on people’s minds in the Fifties.a conventional war (=not nuclear)A conventional war would still cause unacceptable devastation.a guerrilla war (=involving a small unofficial military group)The nine-year guerrilla war has ended at last.the Korean/Vietnam/Iraq etc WarPeople were protesting against the Vietnam War.World War I/World War IIHe was a pilot in World War II.a just war (=one that you believe is right)They believe that they are fighting a just war.a religious warHow many people have died in religious wars?war + NOUNthe war yearsThe couple spent most of the war years apart.a war heroAt home he was hailed as a war hero.a war veteran (=someone who took part in a war)There was a service for war veterans in the Garden of Remembrance.a war criminal (=someone who behaves very cruelly in a war, in a way that is against international law)the arrest of two suspected Nazi war criminals a war correspondent (=a reporter sending reports from a war)Being a war correspondent is a dangerous job.a war zone (=an area where a war is fought)The country had turned into a war zone.a war crime (=a cruel act in a war which is against international law)They will be charged with war crimes.a war woundHe still suffered pain from an old war wound.a war graveHe had gone with a friend to visit the war graves in Flanders.COMMON ERRORS ► Don’t say ‘do the war’. Say go to war or make war. THESAURUSwar noun [countable, uncountable] a situation in which there is fighting between countries or opposing groups within a country, with large numbers of soldiers and weaponsHe fought in World War II.the horrors of warconflict noun [countable, uncountable] a situation in which there is fighting or a war – used especially in news reportsthe conflict in the Middle EastThere is increasing danger of armed conflict.fighting noun [uncountable] a situation in which people or groups fight each other and try to kill each otherThe fighting went on for months.Fighting in the north has resulted in hundreds of deaths.hostilities noun [plural] formal fighting in a warThe agreement called on the guerrillas to cease hostilities (=stop fighting) and begin peace talks.warfare noun [uncountable] the activity of fighting in a war – used especially to talk about a method of fightingnew and more advanced methods of warfarechemical warfarebattle noun [countable, uncountable] an occasion when two armies, groups of ships etc fight each other in one place during a warthe great naval battles of the Napoleonic Warsthe Battle of Trafalgar in 1805He died in battle.skirmish /ˈskɜːmɪʃ/ noun [countable] a short fight between small groups of soldiers, ships etc, especially one that happens away from the main part of a war or battleThere were minor skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops across the border.combat noun [uncountable] the act of fighting, especially during a warFew of them had any experience of combat.hand-to-hand combataction noun [uncountable] military actions carried out by the army, navy etc of a country during a war – used especially in the following phrasesHe was killed in action in 1944.Her son went missing in action.Her grandfather saw action (=fought) in two world wars.
Examples from the Corpuswar• In 1874, war broke out in Europe again.• War veterans claim that they were exposed to chemical weapons while fighting in the Gulf.• a war hero and former fighter pilot• the Spanish-American War• More Americans died in the Civil War than in World War II.• In 1931, more than twenty veterans of foreign wars were among the patients at Carville.• In the months leading up to the outbreak of war, both countries were involved in a massive arms build-up.• It is said that this ghost still beats his eerie tattoo during times of war.• Gas stations in the city are involved in a price war.• Who won the Franco-Prussian War?• When the war ended in 1945, Europe was in chaos.• the Vietnam War• Iran's seven-year war with Iraqwar against/with/between• The proceeds went to fund its clandestine war against the Sandinistas.• Seldom has a central banker looked more secure in his war against marauding politicians.• The prospect of a long war with the inevitable increase in demand for service manpower was a critical factor.• He'd had a serious liaison before the war with a young girl whom he'd got pregnant.• In the war against wildfire, the hotshot crews of the U. S. Forest Service are considered the elite.• Countdown to the cruise Mark Hewish Going to war with cruise missiles would be precise, ruthless and utterly effective.trade war• They said Mr Major was deeply concerned as a trade war loomed large.• And without it, a trade war could devastate already shaky world economies.• A failure to understand this essential point could lead to more than a trade war.• Could this be a prelude to a trade war even more destructive of world prosperity than a military war?• The two men traded war stories through the early-morning hours.• With the spectre of a ruinous trade war looming which could spread like wildfire round the world.From Longman Business Dictionarywarwar /wɔːwɔːr/ noun [countable] price/trade/sales warCOMMERCE a situation in which countries or companies compete against each other very stronglyManufacturers of basic commodity products are vulnerable to price wars when demand is slow.Progress in talks with Japan have averted the risk of a protectionist trade war.A price war may break out as tire makers try to grab market share and put spare capacity to work.Gasoline retailers have been waging price wars (=taking part in them).Origin war (1100-1200) Old North French werre, from Old French guerre