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 July 27, 1953 - Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Chinese People’s Volunteers and the UN sign an armistice agreement. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 13 June 2021 The peace process launched in the early 1990s was based on the idea that a century-old territorial dispute between Jews and Arabs could be resolved by dividing the land along the armistice lines from the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation. Joseph Krauss, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 In the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand, observers wear the red flowers on Nov. 11 to commemorate the anniversary of the 1918 armistice, called Remembrance Day. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 11 May 2021 Their enduring curiosity revealed the truth of the words uttered by an anguished nurse when the armistice was declared in November 1918, amid an influenza pandemic that left her with no spirit to celebrate. Emily Langer,, 24 Apr. 2021 The war ended with an armistice signed Nov. 11, 1918. Paula Allen, San Antonio Express-News, 15 May 2021 An earlier version also mistakenly referenced the armistice in relation to Faithfull’s year of birth. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2021 The French Revolutionary Wars, during which France declared war on Great Britain in 1793, had been halted by an armistice in the fall of 1801, under the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Claudia Kalb, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Apr. 2021 In 1949, control of the city was divided as part of an armistice. New York Times, 25 Mar. 2021

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

borrowed from New Latin armistitium, from Latin arma "implements of war, weapons" + -stit-, -stes (going back to *-sta-t-s, root noun derivative from Indo-European *steh2- the base of Latin sistere "to make stand, halt, bring to a standstill," stāre "to stand") + -ium, suffix of compounded nouns — more at arm entry 3, stand entry 1

Note: The Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources records armistitium from medieval Scottish documents preserved in England (Rotuli Scotiae in Turri Londensi et in Domo Capitulari Westmonasteriensi asservati, vol. 1, London, 1814, p. 335). However, the word occurs only in the text of a heading summarizing the contents of a letter written in April, 1335. These headings were presumably composed when the documents were collected for publication and do not reflect medieval usage of armistitium. Printed records of the word are in abundance only after 1610, when it appears in the dedicatory preface to Biblical commentaries by the French Jesuit Nicolaus Serarius (In sacros divinorum bibliorum libros, Tobiam, Iudith, Esther et Machabaeos commentarius, Mainz, 1610), though there is no reason to believe Serarius coined it. The model for the coinage may have been Latin solstitium solstice.

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The first known use of armistice was in 1677

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Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Armistice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for armistice



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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