declare war

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declare war ‎(third-person singular simple present declares war, present participle declaring war, simple past and past participle declared war)

  1. (of a governmental authority) To make a formal pronouncement, or sign a legal document, that initiates a state of war between one nation and another, usually before hostilities begin.
    • 2007, Carlos Ramirez-Faria, Concise Encyclopaedia of World History:
      Germany declared war on France, who reciprocated, on August 3 [1939], and England declared war on Germany on August 4, when Belgium was already under invasion.