1. Military.
    1. military operations for a specific objective.
    2. Obsolete.the military operations of an army in the field for one season.
  2. a systematic course of aggressive activities for some specific purpose: a sales campaign.
  3. the competition by rival political candidates and organizations for public office.

verb (used without object)

  1. to serve in or go on a campaign: He planned to campaign for the candidate. He campaigned in France.

verb (used with object)

  1. to race (a horse, boat, car, etc.) in a number or series of competitions.


  1. a series of coordinated activities, such as public speaking and demonstrating, designed to achieve a social, political, or commercial goala presidential campaign; an advertising campaign
  2. military a number of complementary operations aimed at achieving a single objective, usually constrained by time or geographic area


  1. (intr often foll by for) to conduct, serve in, or go on a campaign

1640s, “operation of an army in the field,” from French campagne “campaign,” literally “open country,” from Old French champagne “countryside, open country” (suited to military maneuvers), from Late Latin campania “level country” (source of Italian campagna, Spanish campaña, Portuguese campanha), from Latin campus “a field” (see campus). Old armies spent winters in quarters and took to the “open field” to seek battle in summer. Extension of meaning from military to political is American English, 1809.


1701, from campaign (n.). Political sense is from 1801. Related: Campaigned; campaigning.

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