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preemptive strike

noun
Origin
1955-1960
1955-60
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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preemptive-strike in Culture

preemptive strike definition


A first-strike attack with nuclear weapons carried out to destroy an enemy's capacity to respond. A preemptive strike is based on the assumption that the enemy is planning an imminent attack.

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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