I'm looking for, as I feel there probably is, an adjective that means something along the lines of 'as a consequence of war'.

e.g., "The women were bored by the X lack of men." Where X implies that the lack of men is due to some war.

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    Oddly, there is not at present an English word meaning "related to war". Polemic, from Greek, has developed a very different sense; bellic, from Latin, never achieved much currency and is now obsolete; and martial signifies something closer to of warriors than to of war. Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 4:29
  • @StoneyB: Not so. From M-W - military of or relating to soldiers, arms, or war. What we lack is a word meaning caused by war. It's just that other connotations of military don't allow it to be used that way. Unlike, say, bacterial, viral, etc., which we happily use to mean both caused by and related to bacteria & viruses. Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 4:47
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    @StoneyB: Be wary of saying "there is no English word for..." unless you're willing to read through the entire OED first, just to be sure. (Even then, one might still find something in the Urban Dictionary.) Also, as an aside, bellic may be obsolete, but bellicose is not (bellicose was the first word that crossed my mind when I saw this question, but it doesn't fit the O.P.'s purposes).
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 9:34
  • @FumbleFingers Not so. The dictionary may say it means of war, but it does so only with respect to the action of soldiers in war. Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 11:34
  • @J.R. I didn't go through the whole OED; but I consulted three thesauruses, and I ran the Greek and Latin roots I could find through the OED, since we ordinarily build such adjectives on Greek or Latin roots. I'm reasonably confident that if there's an adjective out there it's so obscure that it would not serve OP's purposes. In most cases where the word is called for we just use war attributively, but that doesn't work here. I go with FumbleFingers' answer. Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 11:45

3 Answers 3


If you must have an ordinary non-compounded adjective, contemporary English seems to offer nothing.

Warrish was coined in the 18th century, but was used only in the sense warlike and soon died of superfluity; OED 1 cites warry in the 16th century, but the word had nothing to do with war.

Today, adjectives are rarely built on native stems; I suppose the cultural sense is that a word which has been around as long as war would have already developed an adjective if it was worthy of one. So -y is only sporadically productive these days, and -ish usually means sorta kinda like. One workaround is to use the noun attributively: war department, war materiel. But war lack of men just doesn't cut it.

What's usually done these days is build your adjective on a Greek or Latin stem: urban for town, erotic for love, and so forth. Greek-based polemic would be appropriate; but, alas, it's long since been confined to wars of words. Latin-based bellar and bellal are possible but cacophonious (and bellal would probably be read as the more familiar Belial). OED 1 offers obsolete bellical (Tudor) and bellic (17th century). You might revive either of these, though you run the risk of your readers thinking you have both misused and mis-spelled bellicose.

  • Accepted and +1'd for the useful explanation: Thanks :) Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 16:12

There's war-caused shortage / lack / disease / etc., but personally I think in OP's exact context...

"the war-related shortage"

...fits slightly better.

I can't explain my preference, and admittedly there are only ten results in that last Google Books link, but four of them refer to a shortage of men in one way or another.

The really specific counts are: war-related shortage of men:1, war-caused shortage of men:6


Not quite a single word, but 'in wartime' fits the bill.

The women were bored by the lack of men in wartime.

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    In fact, you can drop the 'in' and it still works. "The women were bored by the wartime lack of men."
    – histocrat
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 1:30
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    But the lack may be felt, and the boredom suffered, after the war as well. Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 2:23

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