Definition of internecine in English:



  • 1Destructive to both sides in a conflict.

    ‘the region's history of savage internecine warfare’
    • ‘No one looks forward to the prospect of internecine warfare at so unpropitious a political moment.’
    • ‘They weren't worried about the Americans as much as they were, possibly, about internecine warfare.’
    • ‘The fear is of a repetition of the 1992 events when groups which now make up the Northern Alliance captured Kabul from Afghanistan's last pro-Moscow government but then wrecked it with internecine warfare.’
    • ‘After three decades of internecine warfare, bombings, retaliatory killings and mutual suspicion, those involved decided to seek a lasting political solution.’
    • ‘A similar problem faces the USA in the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan - how to deal with those degenerate elements of the Northern Alliance for whom internecine warfare is a way of life.’
    • ‘We are fascinated by the internecine warfare at Colina.’
    • ‘But in spite of the fact that internecine warfare is fun to watch, it rarely bodes well for the country.’
    • ‘I and many others rely on your expertise regarding the middle east and I don't want to see your credibility damaged by internecine warfare, at which we on the left seem to be very accomplished.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister's unprecedented decision to let the British people and the world know he will not fight for a fourth term in office threatens to engulf Labour in even greater internecine warfare.’
    • ‘The drug trade of today multiplies the amount of cowboys and petty criminals whose internecine warfare for control of turf tends to bring crime to our doorsteps.’
    • ‘And the Conservatives have no stomach for an ideological fight, only for internecine warfare.’
    • ‘However, they should remember that the last time a party leader was thrown out by her own MPs, that party suffered internecine warfare for over a decade and slumped in the polls.’
    • ‘Those words are just code for internecine warfare and I'm not interested.’
    • ‘As if it wasn't bad enough that they went through last year with only two wins in 12 matches, now they find the game's credibility further threatened by internecine warfare behind the scenes.’
    • ‘In a fiercely tribal society, with traditions of internecine warfare that lasted at least until ten years ago, defensible towns and houses were vital.’
    • ‘If it did, the internecine warfare would be catastrophic.’
    • ‘The deliberately thin plot involving a missing spy satellite thingy and internecine warfare between American intelligence agencies can be totally ignored by adults and children alike and the movie's all the better for it.’
    • ‘But he also noted a blood lust peculiar to internecine warfare.’
    • ‘Why this happened is not exactly known, but warfare and internecine conflict caused by a rising population may be at least partly to blame.’
    • ‘Once self-sufficient and an exporter of food, it has turned into a country dependent on aid and therefore prey to the kind of internecine warfare which has laid waste to far too many parts of Africa in the post-colonial period.’
    deadly, bloody, violent, fierce, destructive, ruinous
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    1. 1.1 Relating to conflict within a group.
      ‘the party shrank from the trauma of more internecine strife’
      • ‘But those internecine debates within the Social Security faction are, at the moment, every bit as irrelevant as the internecine debates within the phase out faction.’
      • ‘The real, lasting damage of such internecine strife is a collapse of faith in the institutional fabric.’
      • ‘But if you believe that the real fight for power today is an internecine one taking place within the Labour Party rather than between political parties, it seems more than feasible.’
      • ‘Both networks limited their coverage of critiques and dissent to internecine schisms within these traditions.’
      • ‘They appear to be tied up in a political knot while dealing with the Sri Lankan government, which is itself locked in internecine party warfare.’
      • ‘As ever with the writer's material, it's an obsessive story involving police corruption, internecine strife and casual violence.’
      • ‘This is not just at internecine war within the TV industry.’
      • ‘Or, alternately, it's just internecine warfare within the administration, and therefore shouldn't be taken seriously.’
      • ‘In some cases, these articles are motivated by internecine disputes within the American right.’
      • ‘Tudor The Tudors brought to a close years of internecine strife when King Henry VII ended the Wars of the Roses between the rival houses of York and Lancaster.’
      • ‘There were internecine struggles within NATO (as there were in the Warsaw Pact), knowledge of which adds to our understanding of the complexity of the Cold War.’
      • ‘Are we not watching with great interest the little internecine fights that are already developing within their caucus?’
      • ‘Such an outcome would threaten any standards for weblog API's and syndication far more than internecine struggles within the existing weblog community ever could.’
      • ‘To be sure, such decisions will not be easy; they could spark internecine struggle within the military.’
      • ‘Two things stand out as central conclusions to be drawn from the internecine wrangling within the Conservative Party and the response to it.’
      • ‘He may have had in mind the internecine squabbling among the various divisions within Judaism or within Orthodoxy itself.’
      • ‘But it was destroyed by doubters and the internecine strife between Edinburgh and Glasgow.’
      • ‘There is certainly conflict of an internecine nature going on within me at the moment.’
      • ‘Needless to say, after more than a decade of internecine strife, all this faddish Conservative unity is somewhat fragile, not to say illusory.’
      • ‘Clerical internecine strife and electoral machination under Anne caused another tidal wave of Whig anticlerical legislation in the 1730s.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘deadly, characterized by great slaughter’): from Latin internecinus, based on inter- ‘among’ + necare ‘to kill’.