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scorched-earth policy

[skawrcht-urth]
noun
  1. a military practice of devastating the property and agriculture of an area before abandoning it to an advancing enemy.
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Origin of scorched-earth policy

1935–40; apparently translation of Chinese jiāotǔ zhèngcè
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for scorched earth policy

scorched earth policy

noun
  1. the policy in warfare of removing or destroying everything that might be useful to an invading enemy, esp by fire
  2. commerce a manoeuvre by a company expecting an unwelcome takeover bid in which apparent profitability is greatly reduced by a reversible operation, such as borrowing at an exorbitant interest rate
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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