Etymology
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campaign (n.)

1640s, "operation of an army in the field," during a single season, in a particular region, or in a definite enterprise; 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. Generalized to "continued or sustained aggressive operations for the accomplishment of some purpose" (1790); in U.S., especially "political activity before an election, marked by organized action in influencing the voters" [DAE], attested from 1809.

campaign (v.)

"to serve in a campaign," 1701, from campaign (n.). Political sense is from 1801. Related: Campaigned; campaigning; campaigner.

updated on September 25, 2017

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Definitions of campaign from WordNet
1
campaign (n.)
a race between candidates for elective office;
I managed his campaign for governor
Synonyms: political campaign / run
campaign (n.)
a series of actions advancing a principle or tending toward a particular end;
he supported populist campaigns
Synonyms: cause / crusade / drive / movement / effort
campaign (n.)
several related operations aimed at achieving a particular goal (usually within geographical and temporal constraints);
Synonyms: military campaign
campaign (n.)
an overland journey by hunters (especially in Africa);
Synonyms: hunting expedition / safari
2
campaign (v.)
run, stand, or compete for an office or a position;
Synonyms: run
campaign (v.)
exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end or engage in a crusade for a certain cause or person; be an advocate for;
Synonyms: crusade / fight / press / push / agitate
campaign (v.)
go on a campaign; go off to war;
Synonyms: take the field
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.