9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-ter-nee-seen, -sahyn, -nes-een, -nes-ahyn] /ˌɪn tərˈni sin, -saɪn, -ˈnɛs in, -ˈnɛs aɪn/
of or relating to conflict or struggle within a group:
an internecine feud among proxy holders.
mutually destructive.
characterized by great slaughter; deadly.
Also, internecive
[in-ter-nee-siv, -nes-iv] /ˌɪn tɛrˈni sɪv, -ˈnɛs ɪv/ (Show IPA)
Origin of internecine
1655-65; < Latin internecīnus, internecīvus murderous, equivalent to internec(āre) to kill out, exterminate (inter- inter- + necāre to kill) + -īnus -ine1, -īvus -ive Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for internecine
  • The party seems likely to end up with a respectable, mainstream nominee, and no internecine warfare to recover from.
  • Experts believe a range of factors, from internecine warfare to severe drought, may have triggered the fall.
  • They are fervent enough to promote internecine warfare.
  • Academe has always been fragmented by internecine squabbles about scholarly minutiae.
  • But the decision became embroiled in an internecine agency debate over how the approval should be couched.
  • Her friends attributed the slight to the internecine world of academic politics.
  • But he said he hoped to avoid such an internecine tangle.
  • The mobilization has begun, albeit in piecemeal, internecine fashion.
  • It has been ignored by the press and trounced in internecine wars.
  • But the second category of internecine warfare is really fun to observe.
British Dictionary definitions for internecine


mutually destructive or ruinous; maiming both or all sides: internecine war
of or relating to slaughter or carnage; bloody
of or involving conflict within a group or organization
Word Origin
C17: from Latin internecīnus, from internecāre to destroy, from necāre to kill
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 internecine

1660s, "deadly, destructive," from Latin internecinus "very deadly, murderous, destructive," from internecare "kill or destroy," from inter (see inter-) + necare "kill" (see noxious). Considered in the OED as misinterpreted in Johnson's Dictionary [1755], which defined it as "endeavouring mutual destruction," on association of inter- with "mutual" when the prefix supposedly is used in this case as an intensive. From Johnson, wrongly or not, has come the main modern definition of "mutually destructive."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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