diplomatic relations involving the use or threat of military force, especially by a powerful nation against a weaker one.
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Origin of gunboat diplomacy
First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
diplomacy conducted by threats of military intervention, esp by a major power against a militarily weak state
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
A policy toward a foreign country that depends on the use, or threat of the use, of arms. (See big stick diplomacy.)
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.