ar·​mi·​stice | \ ˈär-mə-stəs How to pronounce armistice (audio) \

Definition of armistice

: temporary stopping of open acts of warfare by agreement between the opponents : truce

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Synonyms for armistice


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Armistice descends from Latin sistere, meaning "to come to a stand" or "to cause to stand or stop," combined with arma, meaning "weapons." An armistice, therefore, is literally a cessation of arms. Armistice Day is the name that was given to the holiday celebrated in the United States on November 11 before it was renamed Veterans Day by Congress in 1954. The original name refers to the agreement between the Allied Powers and Germany to end hostilities that constituted the first World War, designated to take effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Other armistices, involving Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Austria-Hungary, were effected on other dates before and after November 11.

Examples of armistice in a Sentence

both sides in the conflict agreed to an armistice during the solemn holy days
Recent Examples on the Web Seventy years after the war’s beginning, the Korean Peninsula remains technically in a state of war because the armistice that ended the fighting has yet to be replaced with a peace treaty. Washington Post, "2 Koreas mark war anniversary after pause in rising tensions," 25 June 2020 On July 27, 1953, North Korea, China, and the United States signed an armistice agreement. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "The Korean War never technically ended. Here’s why.," 24 June 2020 But, even though a November armistice ended World War I, the battle wasn’t over. Ann Killion,, "What sports can learn from Spanish flu about playing during a pandemic," 15 May 2020 Fighting with Japan would continue in the Pacific theater until Aug. 14, 1945, when an armistice was declared. NBC News, "WWII forces would 'admire' U.K. today, Queen Elizabeth says on 75th anniversary of war's end in Europe," 8 May 2020 Matthias Erzberger, the new secretary of state, had signed the armistice of Compiègne, in which Germany unconditionally surrendered. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Why Germany surrendered twice in World War II," 6 May 2020 In November 2017, North Korea violated the armistice by firing across the demarcation line at a fleeing North Korean soldier. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Gunshots from North Korea hit South Korean guard post," 2 May 2020 Nixon and Kissinger expanded the war in Southeast Asia, leaving Laos a cratered wreck, Cambodia a charnel house, Americans at each other’s throats and Vietnam with an armistice that yielded neither peace nor honor. John A. Farrell, New York Times, "How Do You Explain Henry Kissinger?," 28 Apr. 2020 The armistice ending World War I was signed the next day. David Motadel, The New York Review of Books, "What Do the Hohenzollerns Deserve?," 26 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'armistice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of armistice

1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for armistice

French or New Latin; French, from New Latin armistitium, from Latin arma + -stitium (as in solstitium solstice)

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The first known use of armistice was in 1677

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Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Armistice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for armistice


How to pronounce armistice (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of armistice

: an agreement to stop fighting a war


ar·​mi·​stice | \ ˈär-mə-stəs How to pronounce armistice (audio) \

Kids Definition of armistice

: a pause in fighting brought about by agreement between the two sides

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