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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For five decades, we have been successful in applying containment and deterrence in the Cold War.

    Shock and Awe Harlan K. Ullman
  • When deterrence or diplomacy failed as in Kuwait, then the use of force was inevitable.

    Shock and Awe Harlan K. Ullman
  • Nature has provided as far as possible for deterrence from over-interest.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • Let us assume the legitimate end of all punishment to be deterrence.

    Social Rights And Duties Leslie Stephen
  • What the deterrence in a comparatively short prison term that leaves the prisoner with a firm grip on his bundle of loot?

    Criminal Types V. M. Masten
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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