The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
War \War\, n. [OE. & AS. werre; akin to OHG. werra scandal,
quarrel, sedition, werran to confound, mix, D. warren, G.
wirren, verwirren, 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.
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
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.
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
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
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