I don't notice any semantic difference between the two. I think they both mean 'to participate in war' as defined in dictionaries.

In a recent interview, Richard D. Land, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Commission in the Southern Baptist Convention, said the central principle for allowing a nation to enter into war was "just cause".

La Follette was probably to the left of Sanders in his anti-war approach, calling for a national plebiscite where the American people can decide whether to enter war "except in cases of actual invasion".

1 Answer 1


There is no difference in meaning, but "enter into war" sounds more natural to me. (I speak AmE.)

On the other hand, Google ngrams (which only includes books that Google has scanned) seems to indicate that both are used with similar frequency:

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    [In UK] I agree that "enter into war" sounds more natural. Most of the examples of "enter war" come from sentences like "to enter war production work" "enter War Room No 1" and "enter war service". Jun 13, 2022 at 3:25

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