Entry from British & World English dictionary
1A feud between people or families that is conducted without regard to the law.
- An immediate result was the withdrawal of the right of private citizens to conduct private war.
- When they are not spearing octopus in the bay, the boys are playing at soldiers and fighting their own private war against them.
- A low-rung gangster, he's returning to his home town for his brother's funeral, full of questions and bringing a private war.
2Hostilities against members of another state that take place without government sanction.
- Worn out by private wars, the nobles let down their guard against the encroaching prerogative of kings and let their liberties slip away without ever taking an intelligent stand against the centralizing power.
- Iraq may be one of the problems, but it can only be dealt with not as a private war but as part of a global campaign, which will involve statesmanship as well as arms.
- The Americans ended up waging their own private war against a warlord who was solidly entrenched in the political system of his country.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: pri|vate war
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