scorched earth policy

scorched-earth policy

a military practice of devastating the property and agriculture of an area before abandoning it to an advancing enemy.

1935–40; apparently translation of Chinese jiāotǔ zhèngcè Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scorched earth policy
1.  the policy in warfare of removing or destroying everything that might be useful to an invading enemy, esp by fire
2.  commerce a manoeuvre by a company expecting an unwelcome takeover bid in which apparent profitability is greatly reduced by a reversible operation, such as borrowing at an exorbitant interest rate

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