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Borrowed from Late Latin internecīnus (deadly), from inter (between) and necō (to kill).



internecine (not comparable)

  1. Mutually destructive; most often applied to warfare.
    Internecine strife in Gaza claimed its most senior victim yesterday.
  2. Characterized by struggle within a group, usually applied to an ethnic or familial relationship.
    The Mongol people were plagued by internecine conflict until Genghis Khan unified them.
    • c. 1900, Mark Twain, Autobiography of Mark Twain, published 2010:
      During the year of my engagement — 1869 — while I was out on the lecture platform, the daily letter that came for me generally brought me news from the front — by which expression I refer to the internecine war that was always going on in a friendly way between these two orthographists about the spelling of words.


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