AskDefine | Define armistice

Dictionary Definition

armistice n : a state of peace agreed to between opponents so they can discuss peace terms [syn: cease-fire, truce]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A ceasefire; a truce.


ceasefire, a truce.

Extensive Definition

An armistice is when the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but can instead be just a cease fire. It is derived from the Latin arma, meaning weapons and statium, meaning a stopping.
A truce or ceasefire usually refers to a temporary cessation of hostilities for an agreed limited time or within a limited area. A truce may be needed in order to negotiate an armistice. An armistice is a modus vivendi and is not the same as a peace treaty, which may take months or even years to agree on. The 1953 Korean War armistice is a major example of an armistice which has not yet been followed by a peace treaty.
The United Nations Security Council often imposes or tries to impose cease-fire resolutions on parties in modern conflicts. Armistices are always negotiated between the parties themselves and are thus generally seen as more binding than non-mandatory UN cease-fire resolutions in modern international law.
The key aspect in an armistice is the fact that "all fighting ends with no one surrendering". This is in contrast to an unconditional surrender, which is a surrender without conditions, except for those provided by international law.

Notable armistices in history

The most notable armistice, and the one which is still meant when people say simply "The Armistice", is the armistice at the end of World War I, on 11 November, 1918, signed near Compiègne, France, and effective at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."
Armistice Day is still celebrated in some places on the anniversary of that armistice; alternatively November 11, or a Sunday near to it, may still be observed as a Remembrance Day.
Other armistices in history are:


External links

armistice in Arabic: هدنة
armistice in Breton: Arsav-brezel
armistice in Danish: Våbenhvile
armistice in German: Waffenstillstand
armistice in Modern Greek (1453-): Ανακωχή
armistice in Spanish: Armisticio
armistice in Esperanto: Armistico
armistice in French: Armistice
armistice in Galician: Armisticio
armistice in Korean: 휴전
armistice in Italian: Armistizio
armistice in Hebrew: שביתת נשק
armistice in Georgian: ზავი
armistice in Kurdish: Çeksekinandin
armistice in Dutch: Wapenstilstand
armistice in Japanese: 休戦協定
armistice in Norwegian: Våpenhvile
armistice in Low German: Wapenstillstand
armistice in Polish: Rozejm
armistice in Portuguese: Armistício
armistice in Simple English: Armistice
armistice in Slovak: Prímerie
armistice in Swedish: Vapenstillestånd
armistice in Chinese: 停戰協定

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Pax Dei, Pax Romana, Peace of God, breathing spell, buffer zone, cease-fire, cooling-off period, demilitarized zone, hollow truce, modus vivendi, neutral territory, pacification, pax in bello, peace, stand-down, suspension of hostilities, temporary arrangement, treaty of peace, truce
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