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Sep 5, 2003
This week's theme
Words with origins in war

This week's words
nom de guerre
antebellum
polemic
bellicose
casus belli

Next week’s theme
Terms borrowed from Latin
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

casus belli

(KAY-suhs BEL-i, rhymes with eye, BEL-ee) Pronunciation Sound Clip
plural casus belli

noun: An action or event that causes or is used to justify starting a war.

[From New Latin casus belli, from Latin casus (occasion), belli, genitive of bellum (war).]

"Education, both secondary and tertiary, remains a battleground, though the casus belli seems to be more about funding than egalitarianism."
Stan Heyl; Class War -- The Struggle Goes On; The Independent (London, UK); May 19, 2001.

See more usage examples of casus belli in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

X-Bonus

What's madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance? -Theodore Roethke, poet (1908-1963)

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