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massive retaliation

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noun

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

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of massive retaliation

An Americanism dating back to 1950–55

Words nearby massive retaliation

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for massive retaliation

Cultural definitions for massive retaliation

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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