at war


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to at war: afterwind

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 ?
Among other things, "we're at war" has been offered as a justification for trying noncitizens before military tribunals, holding citizens in military custody without charging them, eavesdropping on attorney-client conversations, conducting secret searches, obtaining e-mail information and library records without a warrant, relaxing restrictions on FBI surveillance of religious and political activity, setting up a nationwide network of civilian informers, installing police cameras in public places, allowing the armed forces to play a more prominent role in law enforcement, establishing a national ID card, conscripting young people into "national service," and repealing President Bush's tax cuts.
While the problem of femininity has received considerable attention in the literature of societies at war, that of masculinity has not.
The Socialist Party, with its hundreds of thousands of supporters, opposed the war, calling it "a crime against the people of the United States." 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.
36-38, 44, 134; Laurence Stallings, "Vale of Tears," Men at War: The Best War Stories of All Time, Ernest Hemingway, ed.
But is the Bush administration waging the kind of war on terror that will bring the 9-11 terrorists to justice and destroy the global terror networks at war with America?
Cashin, "Women at War," Reviews in American History, 18 (1990):344.
Once at war, Clark wanted to strike forcefully and quickly, and he wanted to maintain the threat of using ground troops on Milosevic.