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guerrilla warfare

noun
1.
the use of hit-and-run tactics by small, mobile groups of irregular forces operating in territory controlled by a hostile, regular force.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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guerrilla war fare in Culture
guerrilla warfare [(guh-ril-uh)]

Wars fought with hit-and-run tactics by small groups against an invader or against an established government. (See counterinsurgency.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for guerrilla war fare

guerrilla warfare

type of warfare fought by irregulars in fast-moving, small-scale actions against orthodox military and police forces and, on occasion, against rival insurgent forces, either independently or in conjunction with a larger political-military strategy. The word guerrilla (the diminutive of Spanish guerra, "war") stems from the duke of Wellington's campaigns during the Peninsular War (1808-14), in which Spanish and Portuguese irregulars, or guerrilleros, helped drive the French from the Iberian Peninsula. Over the centuries the practitioners of guerrilla warfare have been called rebels, irregulars, insurgents, partisans, and mercenaries. Frustrated military commanders have consistently damned them as barbarians, savages, terrorists, brigands, outlaws, and bandits.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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