State war

state of war

noun
1.
a condition marked by armed conflict between or among states, existing whether or not war has been declared formally by any of the belligerents.
2.
a legal condition initiated and concluded by formal declaration, and not necessarily involving armed conflict.
3.
the duration of such a condition.

Origin:
1945–50

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World English Dictionary
state of war
 
n
1.  a period of armed conflict between states, regardless of whether or not war has been officially declared
2.  a legal condition begun by a declaration of war and ended formally, during which the rules of international law applicable to warfare may be invoked

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