World War I

Learn all about the Great War by reviewing these words related to World War I. This list explores important aspects of the conflict between the Allies and the Central Powers, including isolationism and nationalism, rationing, and armistices and treaties. It also covers military strategies like trench warfare, espionage, and blockades, as well as technologies like submarines, land mines, and zeppelins.

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definitions & notes
only words

  1. abdicate

    give up power, duties, or obligations
  2. alliance

    an agreement establishing an association between groups
  3. Allies

    in World War I the alliance of Great Britain and France and Russia and all the other nations that became allied with them in opposing the Central Powers
  4. ammunition

    projectiles to be fired from a gun
  5. annexation

    the act of acquiring something by conquest or occupation
  6. Argonne Forest

    an American operation in World War I
  7. armistice

    a state of peace agreed to between opponents
  8. arms race

    a competition between nations to have the most powerful armaments
  9. artillery

    large but transportable armament
  10. assassination

    murder of a public figure by surprise attack
  11. Balkans

    a large peninsula in southeastern Europe containing the Balkan Mountain Range
  12. barbed wire

    strong wire with barbs at regular intervals used to prevent passage
  13. barrage

    the heavy fire of artillery to saturate an area
  14. Battle of the Marne

    a World War I battle in northwestern France where the Allies defeated the Germans in 1918
  15. Battle of the Somme

    battle in World War I (1916)
  16. Belleau Wood

    a World War I battle in northwestern France where the Allies defeated the Germans in 1918
  17. blockade

    a war measure isolating an area of importance to the enemy
  18. Bolshevik

    a Russian member of the left-wing majority group that followed Lenin and eventually became the Russian communist party
  19. casualty

    someone injured or killed in a military engagement
  20. censorship

    deleting parts of publications or theatrical performances
  21. Central Powers

    in World War I the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary and other nations allied with them in opposing the Allies
  22. civilian

    a nonmilitary citizen
  23. colony

    a geographical area controlled by a distant country
  24. combatant

    someone who fights or is fighting
  25. conflict

    a hostile meeting of opposing military forces
  26. conscientious objector

    one who refuses to serve in the armed forces on grounds of conscience
  27. conscription

    compulsory military service
  28. convoy

    a collection of merchant ships with an escort of warships
  29. counterattack

    an attack by a defending force against an attacking enemy force in order to regain lost ground or cut off enemy advance units etc.
  30. czar

    a male monarch or emperor
  31. demobilization

    act of changing from a war basis to a peace basis including disbanding or discharging troops
  32. diplomacy

    negotiation between nations
  33. dogfight

    an aerial engagement between fighter planes
  34. doughboy

    an American infantryman in World War I
  35. draft

    compulsory military service
  36. dreadnought

    battleship that has big guns all of the same caliber
  37. entente

    an informal alliance between countries
  38. epidemic

    a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease
  39. espionage

    the systematic use of spies to obtain secrets
  40. Franz Ferdinand

    archduke of Austria and heir apparent to Francis Joseph I
  41. front

    the line along which opposing armies face each other
  42. gasmask

    a protective mask with a filter
  43. Georges Clemenceau

    French statesman who played a key role in negotiating the Treaty of Versailles (1841-1929)
  44. Great War

    a war between the allies (Russia, France, British Empire, Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Montenegro) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) from 1914 to 1918
  45. home front

    the civilian population of a country at war
  46. imperialism

    a policy of extending your rule over foreign countries
  47. infantry

    an army unit consisting of soldiers who fight on foot
  48. influenza

    an acute febrile highly contagious viral disease
  49. isolationism

    a policy of nonparticipation in international relations
  50. land mine

    an explosive mine hidden underground
  51. League of Nations

    an international organization formed in 1920 to promote cooperation and peace among nations; although suggested by Woodrow Wilson, the United States never joined and it remained powerless; it was dissolved in 1946 after the United Nations was formed
  52. Lenin

    Russian founder of the Bolsheviks and leader of the Russian Revolution and first head of the USSR (1870-1924)
  53. machine gun

    a rapidly firing automatic gun (often mounted)
  54. militarism

    maintaining a strong force of armed services
  55. mobilization

    the act of assembling and putting into readiness for war
  56. munition

    military supplies
  57. mutiny

    open rebellion against constituted authority
  58. nationalism

    the doctrine that your country's interests are superior
  59. naval blockade

    the interdiction of a nation's lines of communication at sea by the use of naval power
  60. no man's land

    an unoccupied area between the front lines of opposing armies
  61. Ottoman Empire

    a Turkish sultanate of southwestern Asia and northeastern Africa and southeastern Europe; created by the Ottoman Turks in the 13th century and lasted until the end of World War I; although initially small it expanded until it superseded the Byzantine Empire
  62. pacifist

    someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes
  63. poison gas

    a gas that is poisonous to breath or contact
  64. rationing

    restricting the consumption of a relatively scarce commodity
  65. reparation

    compensation exacted from a defeated nation by the victors
  66. retreat

    withdrawal of troops to a more favorable position
  67. Russian Revolution

    the revolution against the czarist government which led to the abdication of Nicholas II and the creation of a provisional government in March 1917
  68. Sarajevo

    capital and largest city of Bosnia
  69. sedition

    an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority
  70. selective service

    compulsory military service
  71. self-determination

    determination of one's own fate or course of action without compulsion
  72. shell shock

    a mental disorder caused by stress of active warfare
  73. shortage

    an amount by which something is less than expected
  74. stalemate

    a situation in which no progress can be made
  75. submarine

    a submersible warship usually armed with torpedoes
  76. tank

    an enclosed armored military vehicle
  77. torpedo

    a long cylindrical self-propelled underwater projectile
  78. treaty

    a written agreement between two states or sovereigns
  79. Treaty of Versailles

    the treaty imposed on Germany by the Allied powers in 1920 after the end of World War I which demanded exorbitant reparations from the Germans
  80. trench warfare

    a type of armed combat in which the opposing troops fight from trenches that face each other
  81. U-boat

    a submersible warship usually armed with torpedoes
  82. ultimatum

    a final peremptory demand
  83. Verdun

    a battle in World War I
  84. victory garden

    a kitchen garden planted during wartime to relieve food shortages
  85. warmonger

    a person who advocates militaristic policies
  86. Woodrow Wilson

    28th President of the United States
  87. zeppelin

    a large airship designed to carry passengers or bombs
Created on January 25, 2017
(updated April 7, 2017)