Definition of turf war in English:

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turf war

Pronunciation: /ˈtərf ˌwôr/
(also turf battle)


An acrimonious dispute between rival groups over territory or a particular sphere of influence.
Example sentences
  • His good friend C Jay was gunned down here last July in a turf war between rival gangs after walking his girlfriend home late one night.
  • It's a ridiculous caper about the ongoing turf war between rival gangs of housewives who are out for blood, as long as the carpets have been Scotch-Guarded.
  • Detectives believe the four were the victims of a deadly turf war between two rival gangs who opened fire at the back of the salon.


1970s: from the notion of a war over turf in the informal sense 'area regarded as personal territory' (originally the area controlled by, for example, a street gang or criminal).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: turf war

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