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domino theory

noun
1.
a theory that if one country is taken over by an expansionist, especially Communist, neighbor, party, or the like, the nearby nations will be taken over one after another.
Origin
1960-1965
1960-65
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for domino-theory

domino theory

in geo-politics, by 1963; see domino. Eisenhower's original phrase was domino principle (1954).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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domino-theory in Culture

domino theory definition


The idea that if one key nation in a region fell to control of communists, others would follow like toppling dominoes. The theory was used by many American leaders to justify American intervention in the Vietnam War. (See policy of containment.)

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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