Belligerent, a nation or a large section of a nation engaged in carrying on war. When a revolted party of great numerical strength are able to form a regular government and rule over the whole, or part of the territory which they claim, humanity dictates that they should not be treated as rebels guilty of treason, but should, if captured, be regarded as prisoners of war. To attain this result, it is needful for those who have risen in arms against the government to make every effort to obtain for their party the position of belligerents. In the contest between the Federals and Confederates, in the war of 1861-1865, the latter, at the commencement of the struggle, claimed the privilege of belligerents. Their demand was acceded to by the British Government, on which the Federal authorities took umbrage, contending that the recognition had been premature.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Bel*lig"er*ent (?), a. [L. bellum war + gerens, -entis, waging, p. pr. of gerere to wage: cf. F. bellig'erant. See Bellicose, Jest.]


Waging war; carrying on war.

"Belligerent powers."

E. Everett.


Pertaining, or tending, to war; of or relating to belligerents; as, a belligerent tone; belligerent rights.


© Webster 1913.

Bel*lig"er*ent, n.

A nation or state recognized as carrying on war; a person engaged in warfare.


© Webster 1913.

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