scorched-earth policy

[ skawrcht-urth ]
/ ˈskɔrtʃtˈɜrθ /

noun

a military practice of devastating the property and agriculture of an area before abandoning it to an advancing enemy.

QUIZZES

WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM

Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Origin of scorched-earth policy

1935–40; apparently translation of Chinese jiāotǔ zhèngcè

Words nearby scorched-earth policy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for scorched-earth policy

scorched earth policy

noun

the policy in warfare of removing or destroying everything that might be useful to an invading enemy, esp by fire
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
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