From Middle English werre, from Late Old English werre, wyrre (“armed conflict”) from Old Northern French werre (compare Old French guerre, whence modern French guerre), from Frankish *werra (“riot, disturbance, quarrel”) from Proto-Germanic *werrō (“mixture, mix-up, confusion, turmoil”), from Proto-Indo-European *wers- (“to mix up, confuse, beat, thresh”).
Akin to Old High German werra (“confusion, strife, quarrel”) (German verwirren (“to confuse”)), Old Saxon werran (“to confuse, perplex”), Dutch war (“confusion, disarray”), West Frisian war (“defense, self-defense, struggle", also "confusion”),
Old English wyrsa, wiersa (“worse”), Old Norse verri (“worse”) (originally "confounded, mixed up"). There may be a connection with worse, wurst.
war (countable and uncountable, plural wars)
- (uncountable) Organized, large-scale, armed conflict between countries or between national, ethnic, or other sizeable groups, usually involving the engagement of military forces.
- (countable) A particular conflict of this kind.
- (countable, by extension) Any conflict, or anything resembling a conflict.
- (figuratively) A campaign against something.
- (business, countable) A bout of fierce competition in trade.
- (obsolete, uncountable) Instruments of war.
- (obsolete) Armed forces.
- (uncountable) A particular card game for two players, notable for having its outcome predetermined by how the cards are dealt.
war (third-person singular simple present wars, present participle warring, simple past and past participle warred)
- (intransitive) To engage in conflict (may be followed by "with" to specify the foe).
- To carry on, as a contest; to wage.