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:
“Freedom-loving people around the world must say ... I am a refugee in a crowded boat foundering off the coast of Vietnam. I am Laotian, a Cambodian, a Cuban, and a Miskito Indian in Nicaragua. I, too, am a potential victim of totalitarianism.”
—Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)
“The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”
—John Adams (17351826)