World War III


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World War III

  1. A hypothetical world war following World War II.
    • 1963, Bob Dylan (lyrics and music), “Talkin' World War III Blues”, in The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan:
      One time ago a crazy dream came to me / I dreamt I was walking into World War Three
    • 1964, Harry S. Truman, MP2002-410 Several Cuts of Former President Truman Talking about Wars and Korea[1], Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives Identifier: 595162, 2:16 from the start:
      And I also wanted to be sure to keep Chiang Kai-shek, who had some notion of starting a World War Number Three, from going into China and doing just that.

Usage notesEdit

During the Cold War this term implied instantaneous world destruction. With the various subsequent conventional wars, that implication is becoming much less common. It is now more often used colloquially to exaggerate personal arguments, such as conflicts within a nuclear family.


Related termsEdit