a condition marked by armed conflict between or among states, existing whether or not war has been declared formally by any of the belligerents.
a legal condition initiated and concluded by formal declaration, and not necessarily involving armed conflict.
the duration of such a condition.
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British Dictionary definitions for state of war
a period of armed conflict between states, regardless of whether or not war has been officially declared
a legal condition begun by a declaration of war and ended formally, during which the rules of international law applicable to warfare may be invoked
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