law of war

noun phrase

: the code that governs or one of the rules that govern the rights and duties of belligerents in international war

Examples of law of war in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wagner’s use of mines and booby traps, which killed many civilians, also violated laws of war. John F. Clark, Fortune, 27 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'law of war.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1709, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of law of war was in 1709

Dictionary Entries Near law of war

Cite this Entry

“Law of war.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on law of war

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!