American English

Definition of peace noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, singular] a situation or a period of time in which there is no war or violence in a country or an area war and peace peace talks/negotiations The negotiators are trying to make peace between the warring factions. A UN force has been sent to keep the peace (= to prevent people from fighting). After years of war, the people long for a lasting peace. the Peace of Utrecht, 1713 (= the agreement ending the war) The two communities live together in peace. The countries have been at peace for more than a century. the peace movement (= that tries to prevent war by protesting, persuading politicians, etc.) Topic CollocationsWar and Peacestarting a war declare/wage war (on somebody/something) go to war (against/with somebody) cause/spark/provoke/foment/quell unrest incite/lead/crush/suppress a revolt/rebellion launch/mount/carry out a surprise/terrorist attack prevent/halt/represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/be on the brink of civil war enter/invade/occupy somebody's territory lead/launch/resist/repel an invasionmilitary operations adopt/develop/implement/pursue a military strategy carry out/execute/perform military operations/maneuvers send/deploy/station/pull back/withdraw troops go on/fly/carry out a reconnaissance/rescue mission train/equip/deploy army/military/combat units lead/launch/conduct an (air/airborne/amphibious) attack/a surprise attack (on somebody); an assault/a raid (on somebody) employ/use guerrilla tactics conduct/wage biological/guerrilla warfare fight/crush/defeat the rebels/the insurgency suffer/inflict a crushing defeat achieve/win a decisive victory halt/stop the American/German advance order/force a retreatfighting join/serve in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines/Coast Guard/reserves be/go/remain/serve on active duty do/complete/return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/strike/engage/defeat/kill/destroy the enemy witness/see/report/be engaged in heavy fighting call for/be met with armed resistance come under heavy/machine-gun/mortar fire fire a machine gun/mortar shells/rockets (at somebody/something) shoot a rifle/a pistol/bullets/missiles launch/fire a(n) cruise/ballistic/anti-tank missile use biological/chemical/nuclear weapons inflict/suffer/sustain heavy losses/casualties be hit/killed by enemy/friendly/artillery fire become/be held as/be taken as a prisoner of warcivilians in war harm/kill/target/protect innocent/unarmed civilians cause/avoid/limit/minimize civilian casualties/collateral damage impose/enforce/lift a curfew engage in/be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to a concentration/an internment camp accept/house/resettle/turn away refugees fleeing from war fear/threaten military/violent reprisals commit/be accused of war crimes/crimes against humanity/genocidemaking peace make/bring/win/achieve/maintain/promote peace call for/negotiate/broker/declare a ceasefire/a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/bring/put an end to hostilities demand/negotiate/accept the surrender of somebody/something establish/send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/conclude/ratify/sign/accept/reject/break/violate a peace treaty
  2. 2[uncountable] the state of being calm or quiet She lay back and enjoyed the peace of the summer evening. I would work better if I had some peace and quiet. He just wants to be left in peace (= not to be disturbed). I need to check that she is all right, just for my own peace of mind (= so that I do not have to worry). He never felt really at peace with himself. (law) They were charged with disturbing the peace (= behaving in a noisy and violent way).
  3. 3[uncountable] the state of living in friendship with someone without arguing They simply can't seem to live in peace with each other. She felt at peace with the world. see also Justice of the Peace
  4. Idioms
    hold your peace/tongue (old-fashioned)
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    to say nothing although you would like to give your opinion
    make (your) peace with somebody
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    to end an argument with someone, usually by saying you are sorry He made peace with his brother when their father was dying.
    (there's) no peace/rest for the wicked (usually humorous)
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    used when someone is complaining that they have a lot of work to do
Which Word?peace / peacefulness The noun peace can be used to talk about a peaceful state or situation:world peace I just need some peace and quiet.Peacefulness is not a common word. It means “the quality of being peaceful.”
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: peace