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scorched-earth policy

[skawrcht-urth] /ˈskɔrtʃtˈɜrθ/
noun
1.
a military practice of devastating the property and agriculture of an area before abandoning it to an advancing enemy.
Origin
1935-1940
1935-40; apparently translation of Chinese jiāotǔ zhèngcè
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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