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[dih-tur-uh ns, -tuhr-, -ter-] /dɪˈtɜr əns, -ˈtʌr-, -ˈtɛr-/
the act of deterring, especially deterring a nuclear attack by the capacity or threat of retaliating.
Origin of deterrence
1860-65; deterr(ent) + -ence Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deterrence
  • deterrence becomes impossibly complicated when many balances have to be considered by many different actors simultaneously.
  • Game theory has always had trouble accounting for players with no rational self-interest, and nuclear deterrence is no exception.
  • At first glance, adapting cold war deterrence to the campaign against terrorism would seem unlikely if not impossible.
  • Our bird deterrence program has reduced the number of bird mortalities.
  • But a peace maintained by deterrence alone is a frail thing.
  • Her government, for its part, failed doubly in the basics of deterrence.
  • But this supposed deterrence has failed to cut the number of offences.
  • deterrence works badly against a dictator who blithely imposes famine and gulags on his people during peacetime.
  • Redemption, reform, and deterrence could all be achieved in one stroke.
  • Nor will a treaty automatically guarantee peace, especially if this deterrence is removed.
Word Origin and History for deterrence

1861; see deterrent + -ence.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deterrence in Culture

deterrence definition

A military capability sufficiently strong to discourage any would-be aggressor from starting a war because of the fear of retaliation. (See balance of terror.)

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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