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balance of terror

the distribution of nuclear arms among nations such that no nation will initiate an attack for fear of retaliation:
maintaining the balance of terror between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Origin of balance of terror
1955-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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balance-of-terror in Culture

balance of terror definition

The balance of power between nations that are equipped with nuclear weapons, stemming from their fear of mutual annihilation in a nuclear war.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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