Definition of internecine
1 : marked by slaughter : deadly; especially : mutually destructive
2 : of, relating to, or involving conflict within a group bitter internecine feuds
internecine was our Word of the Day on 04/29/2007. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of internecine in a Sentence
a political party that has suffered because of bitter internecine rivalries
Recent Examples of internecine from the Web
The former presidential candidate has found himself at the center of the Senate GOP's internecine warfare over healthcare legslation after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Qatar hosts a major U.S. air base and America has little use for an internecine conflict between its Arab partners.
But in El Akkad's dystopian vision, those differences have led, once again, to secession and internecine warfare.
A consistently weighty drama examining the fallout from some harshly internecine father-son rivalry, Morgan Simon’s A Taste of Ink considers the high emotional cost of chronic familial conflict.
But the opposition party is also gripped by an internecine battle for its own identity, moving leftward with calls for ideological purity by portions of its activist liberal base.
The New York intellectual community Podhoretz grew up in was compulsively internecine.
But in El Akkad’s dystopian vision, those differences have led, once again, to secession and internecine warfare.
Decades of internecine fighting and invasions by foreign forces into Afghanistan have left a deadly legacy for the country’s residents.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'internecine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Internecine comes from the Latin internecinus ("fought to the death" or "destructive"), which traces to the verb "necare" ("to kill") and the prefix inter-. ("Inter-" usually means "between" or "mutual" in Latin, but it can also indicate the completion of an action.) Internecine meant "deadly" when it appeared in English in 1663, but when Samuel Johnson entered it in his dictionary almost a century later, he was apparently misled by "inter-" and defined the word as "endeavouring mutual destruction." Johnson's definition was carried into later dictionaries, and before long his sense was the dominant meaning of the word. "Internecine" developed the association with internal group conflict in the 20th century, and that's the most common sense today.
INTERNECINE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of internecine for English Language Learners
: occurring between members of the same country, group, or organization
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up internecine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).