levy en masse

noun
\¦levē-, -vi- + pronunciation at en masse\
variants: or less commonly levée en masse \" or lə¦vā- \ or levy in mass
plural levies en masse also levées en masse or levies in mass

Definition of levy en masse 

international law

: the spontaneous act of the people of a territory not yet occupied by an enemy force of taking up arms for self-defense upon the approach of an enemy without having had time to organize in accordance with recognized rules of warfare

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History and Etymology for levy en masse

levy en masse & levy in mass translation of French levée en masse, from levée levy + en masse; levée en masse from French

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