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casus belli

[key-suh s bel-ahy, bel-ee; Latin kah-soo s bel-lee] /ˈkeɪ səs ˈbɛl aɪ, ˈbɛl i; Latin ˈkɑ sʊs ˈbɛl li/
noun, plural casus belli
[key-suh s bel-ahy, bel-ee; Latin kah-soos bel-lee] /ˈkeɪ səs ˈbɛl aɪ, ˈbɛl i; Latin ˈkɑ sus ˈbɛl li/ (Show IPA)
1.
an event or political occurrence that brings about a declaration of war.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50; < Neo-Latin: literally, occurrence of war
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for casus-belli

casus belli

/ˈkɑːsʊs ˈbɛliː/
noun (pl) casus belli (ˈkɑːsʊs ˈbɛliː)
1.
an event or act used to justify a war
2.
the immediate cause of a quarrel
Word Origin
literally: occasion of war
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for casus-belli

casus belli

n.

1849, from Latin casus "case" (see case (n.1)) + belli, genitive of bellum "war" (see bellicose). An act justifying war.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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9
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