A world war is a war affecting most of the world's most powerful and populous countries. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theaters.
The term is usually applied to the two conflicts of unprecedented scale that occurred during the 20th century: World War I (1914–1918) and World War II (1939–1945). However, it is also sometimes applied to earlier wars and to a hypothetical future war.
Famous quotes containing the words world and/or war:
“The world is ... the natural setting of, and field for, all my thoughts and all my explicit perceptions. Truth does not inhabit only the inner man, or more accurately, there is no inner man, man is in the world, and only in the world does he know himself.”
—Maurice Merleau-Ponty (19071961)
“The truth is, the whole administration under Roosevelt was demoralized by the system of dealing directly with subordinates. It was obviated in the State Department and the War Department under [Secretary of State Elihu] Root and me [Taft was the Secretary of War], because we simply ignored the interference and went on as we chose.... The subordinates gained nothing by his assumption of authority, but it was not so in the other departments.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)