The definition of cold war is hostility between areas, states or nations without physical fighting.
An example of a cold war was the relationship between the USA and the USSR after World War II.
a conflict between nations that act with hostility toward one another but do not engage in direct warfare
cold war Idioms
the Cold War
the protracted cold war (1945–91) between the non-Communist and Communist countries, esp. between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, in which each side attempted to check the global power and influence of the other: the Cold War was characterized by a buildup of large military forces and nuclear arsenals, military interventions as in Asia and Africa, the use of propaganda and espionage, etc.
- often Cold War A state of political tension and military rivalry between nations that stops short of full-scale war, especially that which existed between the United States and Soviet Union following World War II.
- A state of rivalry and tension between two factions, groups, or individuals that stops short of open, violent confrontation.
- cold warrior
- A period of hostile relations between rivals where direct open warfare between them is largely undesired and avoided.
- The period of hostility short of open war between the Soviet Bloc and the Western powers, especially the United States, 1945–91.