Cease fire

After the Second World War this term was added to the list of those long used to indicate the various ways of ceasing or suspending hostilities, namely, suspension of hostilities (truce), capitulation and armistice. The new term has caused some confusion. It has been adopted mainly by the press and politicians as being more vivid, taken as it is from military terminology, in which it is the contrary of “open-fire”. Although sometimes used by the United Nations Security Council, in legal language it can mean only the immediate effect to be produced by one of the above-mentioned conventions between belligerents.

See Armistice; Truce

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