- (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 , and England declared war on Germany on August 4, when Belgium was already under invasion.
- To announce one's intention to fiercely combat or eradicate something.
- The governor declared war on poverty.
- 2011, Henry Hampton, Steve Fayer, Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement:
- Leo Lillard, a Nashville native attending Tennessee State University, had become involved in the sit-ins as soon as they started. It was no longer just the students, it was clear that the town had declared war on racism.
initiate a state of war