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balance of terror

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noun
the distribution of nuclear arms among nations such that no nation will initiate an attack for fear of retaliation: maintaining the balance of terror between the United States and the Soviet Union.
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Origin of balance of terror

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use balance of terror in a sentence

Cultural definitions for balance of terror

balance of terror

The balance of power between nations that are equipped with nuclear weapons, stemming from their fear of mutual annihilation in a nuclear war.

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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