make war (on someone or something)
1. To instigate or initiate war against some other country or group of people. Under the rule of its new dictator, the country has begun making war on its neighbors in an attempt to consolidate power. A severe depletion of resources led several tribes in the region to make war for many years.
2. To attempt to eliminate, destroy, or overpower someone, something, or some group. The new president vowed to make war on corruption in Washington. The extremist wing of the political party has been making war on any and all groups that disagree with their opinion in any capacity.
make war(on someone or something)
1. Lit. to attack someone or something and start a war. The small country's generals made war on the United States, hoping for foreign aid when they lost the war.
2. Fig. to actively oppose someone or something. The police made war on violent street crime.