Definition of campaign in English:



  • 1A series of military operations intended to achieve a goal, confined to a particular area, or involving a specified type of fighting.

    ‘a desert campaign’
    [mass noun] ‘the army set off on campaign’
    • ‘In Italy, French and Spanish forces fought a series of see-saw campaigns against the Austrians.’
    • ‘This book is a must for anyone interested in the eastern campaigns of the Civil War’
    • ‘That's a very important shift, and that will stay whatever the strengths or weaknesses of the military campaigns.’
    • ‘But there was also a learning curve for subsequent military and naval campaigns by the British and French.’
    • ‘If not, we will be waging military campaigns against new tyrannical regimes over and over again.’
    • ‘This he achieved by a prolonged series of military campaigns which unified all northern India under his rule.’
    • ‘Peace negotiations continued at the same time as the military campaigns.’
    • ‘It is best, Sun Tzu said, when citizens are not involved in military campaigns.’
    • ‘We solemnly remember the soldiers who lost their lives fighting in these two campaigns.’
    • ‘Here the emphasis was on execution and not just the planning of campaigns and major operations.’
    • ‘The Crusades were a series of military campaigns during the time of Medieval England against the Muslims of the Middle East.’
    • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte purportedly used this technique during his military campaigns.’
    • ‘The plan included everything from propaganda operations to paramilitary campaigns and guerilla operations.’
    • ‘Popular work also tends to concentrate on the famous campaigns of Western military history.’
    • ‘For the media it is a conflict conducted in a series of military campaigns.’
    • ‘He had intelligence, administrative ability and he was good at planning military campaigns.’
    • ‘The aim of campaigns of operational maneuver has historically been to impose our will on the enemy by force.’
    • ‘As with all military campaigns, control of information was its key weapon, and truth its first casualty.’
    • ‘When hostilities start, the unified commands plan and conduct campaigns and major operations.’
    • ‘He was not much of a military figure and his campaigns were minor at best.’
    1. 1.1An organized course of action to achieve a goal.
      ‘an election campaign’
      ‘the campaign for a full inquiry into the regime’
      • ‘His experiences have formed the basis of a worldwide advertising campaign for Sure deodorant.’
      • ‘From this platform he launched his campaign for election to the Lower House in 1958.’
      • ‘Summers and the airport management have now started a campaign for tighter controls over the airspace.’
      • ‘He also played a key role in the campaign against the care home.’
      • ‘Passenger numbers have soared since the M.E.N. won a campaign for a new city centre coach station.’
      • ‘Ronaldo said his visit was part of his campaign against poverty around the world.’
      • ‘Polly Toynbee lets something slip as she pursues her campaign for the nationalisation of children.’
      • ‘The family have said that they have not sought any financial support for their campaign for justice and will not do so.’
      • ‘Burnley council were runners up in a national award this week thanks to their campaign against dog fouling.’
      • ‘The entire campaign for the referendum was set up to preclude that kind of idea from the start.’
      • ‘The Newbold councillor is spearheading a campaign for a ban on outdoor drinking across the borough.’
      • ‘Later, some men objected to their kind of poetry and launched a campaign against them.’
      • ‘Jakarta Police are in the midst of a campaign against drug trafficking in the capital.’
      • ‘We are thrilled that Dame Vera Lynn has joined our campaign for a memorial to the women of the Second World War.’
      • ‘Thousands of York residents were urged today to back a campaign for greater funding for flood defences.’
      • ‘Parents in Keighley have won a victory in a three-year campaign for free school bus passes.’
      • ‘And he has now backed a local campaign against the show and vowed to go to prison in defence of his religion.’
      • ‘The campaign against nanotechnology, like other green campaigns, is being built on the twin themes of unknown risk and corporate greed.’
      • ‘I was proud to be involved in the campaign for a maternity unit for Moray.’
      • ‘A Wiltshire primary school has stepped up its campaign for road safety with a petition.’
      crusade, drive, push, effort, struggle, move, movement
      View synonyms


  • Work in an organized and active way towards a goal.

    ‘people who campaigned against child labour’
    [with infinitive] ‘the services he had campaigned to protect’
    • ‘Villagers in Heaton are among those now campaigning to protect land from housing.’
    • ‘The trouble with campaigning in the wilds of Oxfordshire is that you lose touch with the main battle.’
    • ‘As an active cyclist I will not be campaigning for more cycle routes to push my bike along.’
    • ‘He added that low pay advocacy groups were also campaigning against the changes.’
    • ‘I have spent much of my life working in and campaigning for tropical rain forests and their people.’
    • ‘They are campaigning on issues such as affordable housing, transport and education.’
    • ‘Most will be campaigning against poverty and trying to raise awareness of problems in Africa.’
    • ‘What does this say about his attitude towards the parliament he campaigned to establish?’
    • ‘Ever since they were installed, residents have been campaigning for their removal.’
    • ‘The news has been welcomed by groups campaigning for improved public transport.’
    • ‘He campaigned and researched to promote greater understanding of the cause and effects of elder abuse.’
    • ‘They have long been campaigning in favour of a relief road around the village.’
    • ‘Tomorrow we're not campaigning in the morning out of respect for the Pope's funeral.’
    • ‘He may not be aware that Baildon commuters are campaigning for a direct service to Leeds.’
    • ‘Residents are campaigning against land behind their homes being used for allotments.’
    • ‘Since then, the families have been campaigning for justice and for a full public inquiry.’
    • ‘The Humanist Society is campaigning for a change in the law to allow anyone to carry out the ceremony.’
    • ‘Parents accused of harming their children have also been campaigning for change.’
    • ‘Tom has been campaigning to ensure the bill keeps the rights of the disabled to the fore.’
    • ‘I'm campaigning about it and I've refused to pay so far so the bills are mounting up.’
    crusade, fight, battle, work, push, press, strive, struggle, agitate
    View synonyms


  • on the campaign trail

    • Engaged in a political campaign.

      ‘he has studiously avoided the subject on the campaign trail’
      • ‘The president made a lot of promises on the campaign trail.’
      • ‘Jim's comments were in response to a question about what voters are asking him about on the campaign trail.’
      • ‘The straight-talking libertarian Republican is creating a lot of buzz on the campaign trail.’
      • ‘Joking with the audience Mr Brown showed he was relishing life on the campaign trail.’
      • ‘You know, I think there's just too much talk about him getting out on the campaign trail.’
      • ‘There could not have been more of a contrast on the campaign trail last week.’
      • ‘We will tell you about a very intriguing remark he made on the campaign trail.’
      • ‘Her husband meanwhile is using some sharp words out on the campaign trail.’
      • ‘Barack Obama himself didn't talk about them at all on the campaign trail yesterday.’
      • ‘I want to ask you about the candidates on the campaign trail.’


Early 17th century (denoting a tract of open country): from French campagne open country, via Italian from late Latin campania, from campus level ground (see camp). The change in sense arose from an army's practice of ‘taking the field’ (i.e. moving from a fortress or town to open country) at the onset of summer.