Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or relating to struggle within a nation, organization, or group.
  • adj. Mutually destructive; ruinous or fatal to both sides.
  • adj. Characterized by bloodshed or carnage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Mutually destructive; most often applied to warfare.
  • adj. Characterized by struggle within a group, usually applied to an ethnic or familial relationship.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Involving, or accompanied by, mutual slaughter; mutually destructive.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to internal conflicts within a group.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Destructive; deadly; accompanied with much slaughter.

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

  • adj. characterized by bloodshed and carnage for both sides
  • adj. (of conflict) within a group or organization

Etymologies

Latin internecīnus, destructive, variant of internecīvus, from internecāre, to slaughter : inter-, intensive pref.; see inter- + nex, nec-, death.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin internecīvus, deadly, alternatively, Latin inter (between) and necare (to slay). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Therefore, it seems reasonable to propose that for male hippies as well as male residents of the Iowa frontier, tensions expressed through the manhood act — counterbalanced, at times, by the restraining hands of men like Murcott — dissipated some of the emotional energy that might otherwise have found expression in internecine violence. 48

    Manhood in the Age of Aquarius: Masculinity in Two Countercultural Communities, 1965–83

  • British subjectivity posed by the American crisis is that the people most like them not only take up arms in internecine strife but form an alliance with the

    Projection, Patriotism, Surrogation: Handel in Calcutta

  • When I saw you use the word internecine in reference to possible infighting at the Whitehouse, it reminded me of this Word History article.

    Firedoglake » Somebody Had Their Wheaties…

  • The proper meaning of internecine is murderous, destructive.

    On Dictionaries

  • Investors lost about $200 billion as the Internet bubble collapsed, executives at AOL Time Warner engaged in internecine warfare, and the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission challenged the company’s accounting practices.

    AOL and Time Warner to officially split

  • I'm familiar with feminist politics here at home over the past several decades, and they can get pretty wrangy at times (indeed the word "internecine" has come to mind on occasion), so I'm not surprised that there are widely divergent, even antagonistic, factions within the Afghan women's movement.

    Trash talk

  • Such hopelessness focuses a movement inward, leading to the kind of internecine fights around identity politics and issue positions that frequently divide the left.

    Sally Kohn: Force or Fringe: United States Social Forum Vs. Tea Party

  • They described the string of attacks as last-ditch efforts of a struggling terrorist network, not a signal that the country was spiraling toward the same kind of internecine violence that paralyzed the country in 2006 and 2007.

    Seven Blasts Stoke Fears in Baghdad

  • I also believe that, while homicides per capita may be higher here, most are related to specific criminal activity such as internecine warfare among drug dealers and that random homicides and other criminal violence are probably less likely to occur here than in the United States.

    Warnings from the US Dept of State re Mexico

  • There was more confusion about what the international community could do about it in the context of this kind of internecine battling going on village to village, house to house.

    Press Briefing By National Security Advisor Sandy Berger

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