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Definitions

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

  • n. An act or event that provokes or is used to justify war.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act seen as justifying or causing a war.
  • n. Plural form of casus belli.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. an event or combination of events which is a cause war, or may be alleged as a justification of war.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A matter or occasion of war; an excuse or a reason for declaring war: as, the right of search claimed by Great Britain constituted a casus belli in 1812.

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

  • n. an event used to justify starting a war

Etymologies

New Latin cāsus bellī : Latin cāsus, occasion + Latin bellī, genitive of bellum, war.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin casus ("case") + belli ("of war"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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