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casus belli Syllabification: ca·sus bel·li
Pronunciation: /ˈkäsəs ˈbelē/ /ˈkāsəs ˈbelˌī/

Definition of casus belli in English:

noun (plural same)

An act or situation provoking or justifying war.
Example sentences
  • As the Romans liked a casus belli to justify their aggressive activities, it is not always possible to be certain about the real circumstances behind their intervention.
  • France countered by getting Russia to propose a general congress, intended to isolate Austria and provoke a casus belli.
  • The failure to disarm is probably a casus belli.


Latin, from casus (see case1) and belli, genitive of bellum 'war'.

Words that rhyme with casus belli

belly, Botticelli, Corelli, Delhi, deli, Ellie, Grappelli, jelly, Kelly, lamellae, Machiavelli, Mahaweli, Schiaparelli, Shelley, shelly, smelly, tagliatelle, telly, Torricelli, vermicelli, welly, Zeffirelli
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