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state of war

noun
  1. a condition marked by armed conflict between or among states, existing whether or not war has been declared formally by any of the belligerents.
  2. a legal condition initiated and concluded by formal declaration, and not necessarily involving armed conflict.
  3. the duration of such a condition.
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Origin of state of war

First recorded in 1945–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for state of war

state of war

noun
  1. a period of armed conflict between states, regardless of whether or not war has been officially declared
  2. 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
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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