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[dih-tur-uh ns, -tuhr-, -ter-] /dɪˈtɜr əns, -ˈtʌr-, -ˈtɛr-/
the act of deterring, especially deterring a nuclear attack by the capacity or threat of retaliating.
Origin of deterrence
First recorded in 1860-65; deterr(ent) + -ence Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for deterrence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When deterrence or diplomacy failed as in Kuwait, then the use of force was inevitable.

    Shock and Awe Harlan K. Ullman
  • Let us assume the legitimate end of all punishment to be deterrence.

    Social Rights And Duties Leslie Stephen
  • Nature has provided as far as possible for deterrence from over-interest.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • What the deterrence in a comparatively short prison term that leaves the prisoner with a firm grip on his bundle of loot?

    Criminal Types V. M. Masten
  • To split hairs of deterrence over confirmed social hyenas, is to furnish them with the last formula from which to tear things.

    Criminal Types V. M. Masten
Word Origin and History for deterrence

1861; see deterrent + -ence.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deterrence in Culture

deterrence definition

A military capability sufficiently strong to discourage any would-be aggressor from starting a war because of the fear of retaliation. (See balance of terror.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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