Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Halbert privately came to the same conclusion, and decided to war only with words.

As for the war between the Philistines and the Jews, it never came to an end.

The following are a few of the passes used by Harriet throughout the war.

I did all that in honor could be done to avert the war, but without avail.

Division on public questions can no longer be traced by the war maps of 1861.

The business world reflects the disturbance of war's reaction.

War is a rough teacher, but it is evidently the only one for the Continent.

This signifies more than the stilling of guns, easing the sorrow of war.

In my lifetime—in depression and in war—they have awaited our defeat.

The management of the war was the main subject under discussion.


late Old English (c.1050), wyrre, werre, from Old North French werre "war" (Modern French guerre), from Frankish *werra, from Proto-Germanic *werso (cf. Old Saxon werran, Old High German werran, German verwirren "to confuse, perplex"). Cognates suggest the original sense was "to bring into confusion."

Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian guerra are from the same source; Romanic peoples turned to Germanic for a word to avoid Latin bellum because its form tended to merge with bello- "beautiful." There was no common Germanic word for "war" at the dawn of historical times. Old English had many poetic words for "war" (wig, guð, heaðo, hild, all common in personal names), but the usual one to translate Latin bellum was gewin "struggle, strife" (related to win).

First record of war time is late 14c. Warpath (1775) is originally in reference to North American Indians, as are war-whoop (1761), war-paint (1826), and war-dance (1757). War crime first attested 1906. War chest is attested from 1901; now usually figurative. War games translates German Kriegspiel (see kriegspiel).


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.