[dih-tur-uhns, -tuhr-, -ter-]
the act of deterring, especially deterring a nuclear attack by the capacity or threat of retaliating.

1860–65; deterr(ent) + -ence Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
deterrent (dɪˈtɛrənt)
1.  something that deters
2.  a weapon or combination of weapons, esp nuclear, held by one state, etc, to deter attack by another
3.  tending or used to deter; restraining
[C19: from Latin dēterrēns hindering; see deter]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1861, from deterrent.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
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.
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