[ sees-fahyuh r ]
/ ˈsisˈfaɪər /


a cessation of hostilities; truce.
Military. an order issued for a cease-fire.

Nearby words

  1. ceanothus,
  2. ceará,
  3. cease,
  4. cease and desist,
  5. cease-and-desist order,
  6. ceasefire,
  7. ceaseless,
  8. ceaselessly,
  9. ceauşescu,
  10. cebu

Origin of cease-fire

First recorded in 1840–50; noun use of verb phrase cease fire

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ceasefire

British Dictionary definitions for ceasefire


/ mainly military /


a period of truce, esp one that is temporary and a preliminary step to establishing a more permanent peace on agreed terms

interjection, noun

the order to stop firing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ceasefire



also ceasefire, "a cessation of shooting," 1916, from verbal phrase cease fire, 1847 as a military command (formerly also signaled by bugles), from cease (v.) + fire (n.) in the gunnery sense. Generally two words until after mid-20c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper