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massive retaliation

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noun
  1. a strategy of military counterattack that involves the use of nuclear weapons.

Origin of massive retaliation

An Americanism dating back to 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
massive retaliation in Culture

massive retaliation

The doctrine that the best way to deter aggression is to threaten a potential aggressor with devastation by atomic bombs (see also atomic bomb). See hawks and doves.)

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