WAR, n. [G., to perplex, embroil, disturb. The primary sense of the root is to strive, struggle, urge, drive, or to turn, to twist.]1. A contest between nations or states, carried on by force, either for defense, or for revenging insults and redressing wrongs, for the extension of commerce or acquisition of territory, or for obtaining and establishing the superiority and dominion of one over the other. These objects are accomplished by the slaughter or capture of troops, and the capture and destruction of ships, towns and property. Among rude nations, war is often waged and carried on for plunder. 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. When war is commenced by attacking a nation in peace, it si called an offensive war, and such attack is aggressive. When war is undertaken to repel invasion or the attacks of an enemy, it is called defensive, and a defensive war is considered as justifiable. Very few of the wars that have desolated nations and deluged the earth with blood, have been justifiable. Happy would it be for mankind, if the prevalence of Christian principles might ultimately extinguish the spirit of war, and if the ambition to be great, might yield to the ambition of being good.Preparation for war is sometimes the best security for peace.2. In poetical language, instruments of war.His complement of stores, and total war.3. Poetically, forces; army.Oer the embattled ranks the waves return, and overwhelm their war.
4. The profession of arms; art of war; as a fierce man of war. Isaiah 2.5. Hostility; state of opposition or contest; act of opposition.6. Enmity; disposition to contention.The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart. Psalm 55.Man of war, in naval affairs, a ship of large size, armed and equipped for attack or defense.Holy war, a crusade; a war undertaken to deliver the Holy Land, or Judea, from infidels. These holy wars were carried on by most unholy means.
WAR, v.i. 1. To make war; to invade or attack a nation or state with force of arms; to carry on hostilities; or to be in a state of contest by violence.He teacheth my hands to war. 2 Samuel 22.And they warred against eh Midianites. Numbers 31.Why should I war without the walls of Troy?2. To contend; to strive violently; to be in a state of opposition.Lusts which war against the soul. 1 Peter 2.
WAR, v.t. 1. To make war upon; as, to war the Scot. [Not used.]2. To carry on a contest.That thou mightest war a good warfare. 1 Timothy 1.