at war


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at war

1. Currently engaged in armed combat, as between nations. The two countries have been at war for nearly 40 years, with many lives lost on both sides.
2. Currently engaged in a heated or bitter disagreement between two parties. I've been at war with my neighbor over where our lawns end since I moved in.
3. Engaged in an inner conflict, that is, a conflict within one's mind or conscience. I've been at war with myself over what to do with money I found. Do I keep it, or do I turn it in to the police?
See also: war

at war

Engaged in armed conflict; also, in a state of disagreement. This term may be used literally, usually of nations or smaller groups engaged in armed hostilities, as well as hyperbolically, describing a mild disagreement as "war," and figuratively, for an inner conflict. For example, The Greeks and Turks have been at war for many years (literally); The two families were at war about the bill for the wedding reception (hyperbolic); and, as Shakespeare put it in Measure for Measure (2:2): "I am at war 'twixt will and will not" (inner conflict of indecision). [Late 1300s]
See also: war

at war

In an active state of conflict or contention.
See also: war
References in periodicals archive ?
The real issue is not whether we're at war but whether terrorism is so different from other crimes that special rules should apply.
A long-range study of students' written responses would be needed to trace significant shifts about knowledge of Shakespeare's works or the "real" world at war.
LucasArts and Petroglyph Deliver Expansion to Best-Selling 2006 RTS Game, Star Wars: Empire at War
The nation had been at war for a year when the Socialist leader Eugene Debs spoke in Canton, Ohio, outside a prison where three Sodalists were serving time for opposing the draft.
Tony Blair and Bill Clinton are two schoolboys playing at war.