Lexicon: Co-Belligerent

DEFINITION ko-beh-lij-er-int n: Unlikely bedfellows joined for political purposes

CONTEXT Parliamentarian William Wilberforce employed the term in 19th century England to describe his abolitionist allies. The Allies became co-belligerents with former enemies in the later stages of WW II.

USAGE It's a hit with Evangelicals. Megachurch pastor Rick Warren claims he's a co-belligerent with feminists on issues like pornography. And it's an emerging descriptor for the wary but genuine approval that Christian conservatives have given to Mitt Romney, below, despite their differences with Mormons.

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!