the initial use of nuclear weapons in a conflict, in which the attacker tries to destroy the adversary's strategic nuclear forces.
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Origin of first strike
First recorded in 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for first-strike
The U.S. had achieved the first-strike capability it had long been seeking.Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick On How Obama Should Handle the Crisis In Syria|Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick|October 15, 2013|DAILY BEAST
British Dictionary definitions for first-strike
(of a nuclear missile) intended for use in an opening attack calculated to destroy the enemy's nuclear weapons
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012