Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A temporary cessation of fighting by mutual consent; a truce.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A formal agreement to end fighting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cessation of arms for a short time, by convention; a temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement; a truce.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A temporary suspension of hostilities by convention or agreement of the parties; a truce.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a state of peace agreed to between opponents so they can discuss peace terms

Etymologies

French, from New Latin armistitium : Latin arma, arms; see arm2 + Latin -stitium, a stopping; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French armistice. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • An armistice is a cessation; it leaves to a peace agreement the actual setting of borders and boundaries.

    Matthew Yglesias » Ehud Barak: Peace or Apartheid

  • These efforts resulted in armistice agreements between the new state of Israel and four of its Arab neighbours:

    Ralph Bunche: UN Mediator in the Middle East, 1948-1949

  • The proposal was, as I have said, a daring one, for an armistice is more than a cease-fire; an armistice, in the accepted meaning of the word, is in effect a preliminary to peace.

    The Nobel Peace Prize 1950 - Presentation Speech

  • If I may put my point of view-which may be altogether wrong-the chief cause which now, two years after the armistice, makes the condition of Europe worse in many phases than it was at the time of the armistice, is due to two or three causes.

    After War, Peace Complications, From the Viewpoint of Europe

  • The word armistice being beyond the range of their vocabulary, they call it "l'amnistie," and imagine that the question is whether or not King William is ready to grant Paris an amnesty.

    Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris

  • Wikipedia even claims that North Korea actually withdrew from the Armistice agreement in 2009 [citation needed], but even if they didn’t, technically armistice is only a temporary cessation of fighting.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Shahzad and Miranda Rights

  • On November 10, House cabled Wilson, “You have a right to assume that the two great features of the armistice are the defeat of German military imperialism and the acceptance by the Allied Powers of the kind of peace the world has longed for.”

    How Wars end

  • While Wilson was writing the polite first draft of his reply on October 7, for example, a Republican senator was declaring to his colleagues: The only condition of an armistice ought to be an allied victory; unconditional surrender of our enemies.

    How Wars end

  • Looking for possible violations of the armistice is a favorite pastime of both sides here.

    CNN Transcript Oct 10, 2006

  • Looking for possible violation of the armistice is a favorite pasttime of both sides here.

    CNN Transcript Sep 21, 2003

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