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3 definitions found
 for Civil war
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  War \War\, n. [OE. & AS. werre; akin to OHG. werra scandal,
     quarrel, sedition, werran to confound, mix, D. warren, G.
     wirren, verwirren, to embroil, confound, disturb, and perhaps
     to E. worse; cf. OF. werre war, F. querre, of Teutonic
     origin. Cf. Guerrilla, Warrior.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. A contest between nations or states, carried on by force,
        whether for defence, for revenging insults and redressing
        wrongs, for the extension of commerce, for the acquisition
        of territory, for obtaining and establishing the
        superiority and dominion of one over the other, or for any
        other purpose; armed conflict of sovereign powers;
        declared and open hostilities.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Men will ever distinguish war from mere bloodshed.
                                                    --F. W.
                                                    Robertson.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: As war is the contest of nations or states, it always
           implies that such contest is authorized by the monarch
           or the sovereign power of the nation. A war begun by
           attacking another nation, is called an offensive war,
           and such attack is aggressive. War undertaken to repel
           invasion, or the attacks of an enemy, is called
           defensive.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     2. (Law) A condition of belligerency to be maintained by
        physical force. In this sense, levying war against the
        sovereign authority is treason.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Instruments of war. [Poetic]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              His complement of stores, and total war. --Prior.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. Forces; army. [Poetic]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              On their embattled ranks the waves return,
              And overwhelm their war.              --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. The profession of arms; the art of war.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Thou art but a youth, and he is a man of war from
              his youth.                            --1 Sam. xvii.
                                                    33.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. a state of opposition or contest; an act of opposition; an
        inimical contest, act, or action; enmity; hostility.
        "Raised impious war in heaven." --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The words of his mouth were smoother than butter,
              but war was in his heart.             --Ps. lv. 21.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Civil war, a war between different sections or parties of
        the same country or nation.
  
     Holy war. See under Holy.
  
     Man of war. (Naut.) See in the Vocabulary.
  
     Public war, a war between independent sovereign states.
  
     War cry, a cry or signal used in war; as, the Indian war
        cry.
  
     War dance, a dance among savages preliminary to going to
        war. Among the North American Indians, it is begun by some
        distinguished chief, and whoever joins in it thereby
        enlists as one of the party engaged in a warlike
        excursion. --Schoolcraft.
  
     War field, a field of war or battle.
  
     War horse, a horse used in war; the horse of a cavalry
        soldier; especially, a strong, powerful, spirited horse
        for military service; a charger.
  
     War paint, paint put on the face and other parts of the
        body by savages, as a token of going to war. "Wash the war
        paint from your faces." --Longfellow.
  
     War song, a song of or pertaining to war; especially, among
        the American Indians, a song at the war dance, full of
        incitements to military ardor.
  
     War whoop, a war cry, especially that uttered by the
        American Indians.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Civil \Civ"il\, a. [L. civilis, fr. civis citizen: cf. F. civil.
     See City.]
     1. Pertaining to a city or state, or to a citizen in his
        relations to his fellow citizens or to the state; within
        the city or state.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Subject to government; reduced to order; civilized; not
        barbarous; -- said of the community.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              England was very rude and barbarous; for it is but
              even the other day since England grew civil.
                                                    --Spenser.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Performing the duties of a citizen; obedient to
        government; -- said of an individual.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Civil men come nearer the saints of God than others;
              they come within a step or two of heaven. --Preston
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. Having the manners of one dwelling in a city, as opposed
        to those of savages or rustics; polite; courteous;
        complaisant; affable.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: "A civil man now is one observant of slight external
           courtesies in the mutual intercourse between man and
           man; a civil man once was one who fulfilled all the
           duties and obligations flowing from his position as a
           'civis' and his relations to the other members of that
           'civitas.'" --Trench
           [1913 Webster]
  
     5. Pertaining to civic life and affairs, in distinction from
        military, ecclesiastical, or official state.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. Relating to rights and remedies sought by action or suit
        distinct from criminal proceedings.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Civil action, an action to enforce the rights or redress
        the wrongs of an individual, not involving a criminal
        proceeding.
  
     Civil architecture, the architecture which is employed in
        constructing buildings for the purposes of civil life, in
        distinction from military and naval architecture, as
        private houses, palaces, churches, etc.
  
     Civil death. (Law.) See under Death.
  
     Civil engineering. See under Engineering.
  
     Civil law. See under Law.
  
     Civil list. See under List.
  
     Civil remedy (Law), that given to a person injured, by
        action, as opposed to a criminal prosecution.
  
     Civil service, all service rendered to and paid for by the
        state or nation other than that pertaining to naval or
        military affairs.
  
     Civil service reform, the substitution of business
        principles and methods for the spoils system in the
        conduct of the civil service, esp. in the matter of
        appointments to office.
  
     Civil state, the whole body of the laity or citizens not
        included under the military, maritime, and ecclesiastical
        states.
  
     Civil suit. Same as Civil action.
  
     Civil war. See under War.
  
     Civil year. See under Year.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  civil war
      n 1: a war between factions in the same country

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