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

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—an agreement designated to take effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

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 Many experts believe the war is likely to settle into a lower intensity conflict or a situation like that on the Korean Peninsula, where north-south fighting was halted in a 1953 armistice without a formal end to the war. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, 17 June 2022 In a patriotic mood, the city renamed the park for him in November 1918, one week after the armistice ended the war. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. NBC News, 9 Mar. 2022 Even so, sooner or later, the war will end in a cease-fire or armistice. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, 19 May 2022 The Korean War ended in a stalemate and an armistice that was meant to be temporary. E. Tammy Kim, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2022 The fighting continued for months before the United Nations brokered an armistice agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Steve Marble, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 In the armistice agreement that ended the French-German conflict, the French acquiesced to a division of their nation, roughly west to east along the Loire Valley at the center of the country. Ronald C. Rosbottom, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2021 Sustained fighting in the Korean War ended with an armistice agreement in 1953, but the two Koreas remain technically at war. Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

10 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Armistice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for armistice


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

More from Merriam-Webster on armistice

Nglish: Translation of armistice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of armistice for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about armistice


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