noun \di-ˈtər-ən(t)s, -ˈter-; -ˈtə-rən(t)s, -ˈte-; dē-\

: the act of making someone decide not to do something : the act of preventing a particular act or behavior from happening

politics : the policy of developing a lot of military power so that other countries will not attack your country

Full Definition of DETERRENCE

:  the act or process of deterring: as
a :  the inhibition of criminal behavior by fear especially of punishment
b :  the maintenance of military power for the purpose of discouraging attack

Examples of DETERRENCE

  1. The author argues that deterrence is no longer the best way to prevent war.

First Known Use of DETERRENCE


Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical


noun \di-ˈtər-ən(t)s, -ˈter-; -ˈtə-rən(t)s; dē-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of DETERRENCE

: the inhibition of criminal behavior by fear especially of punishment


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Military strategy whereby one power uses the threat of reprisal to preclude an attack from an adversary. The term largely refers to the basic strategy of the nuclear powers and the major alliance systems. The premise is that each nuclear power maintains a high level of instant and overwhelming destructive capability against any aggressor. It relies on two basic conditions: the ability to retaliate after a surprise attack must be perceived as credible, and retaliation must be perceived as a possibility, if not a certainty.


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