[sees-fahyuh r]
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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. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ceasefire


  1. a period of truce, esp one that is temporary and a preliminary step to establishing a more permanent peace on agreed terms
interjection, noun
  1. 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