arms race


Definition of arms race

: a race between hostile nations to accumulate or develop weapons broadly : an ever escalating race or competition

Examples of arms race in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, one of the linchpins in the arms-control framework that helped seal the end of the Cold War, is at risk of collapsing and fueling a new arms race. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "The History of a Cold War Missile Treaty," 1 Feb. 2019 The nuclear arms race, dangerous nuclear waste, fallout from nuclear testing, and the threat of nuclear terrorism are just some of the consequences of this country’s development and use of the bomb. Emily Strasser, Curbed, "A secret city opens up," 8 Aug. 2018 In the 33-year-old James’s never-ending arms race with the Warriors, both decisions represent massive losses. Ben Golliver,, "Paul George’s Quick Decision Begs Question: Are LeBron’s Best Recruiting Days Behind Him?," 1 July 2018 Any such Pentagon program risks an arms race with Russia or even China, since Beijing isn’t party to the treaty and has deployed short and intermediate -range missiles in significant numbers. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Putin Threatens Arms Race as U.S. Prepares to Exit Nuclear Treaty," 5 Dec. 2018 But now there is something of an arms race among states, as the federal government pushes to lease more of the ocean for power generation. Jon Chesto,, "Two big wind farms to rise off coast of Martha’s Vineyard," 23 May 2018 With a defense budget far smaller than that of the United States, Russia is ill-positioned to compete in a traditional arms race. Anton Troianovski, Washington Post, "Putin claims Russia is developing nuclear arms capable of avoiding missile defenses," 1 Mar. 2018 Phone cameras are an arms race of sorts, and LG might be looking to escalate things dramatically with a future phone that could feature a whopping 16 lenses, via LetsGoDigital. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "LG patent hints at a 16-lens smartphone camera," 26 Nov. 2018 The result is an arms race between politicians who must spend to get their message in front of potential voters and donors. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Political Reality: Buy Ads on Facebook or Risk Losing the Election," 2 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arms race.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arms race

1921, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for arms race

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for arms race

The first known use of arms race was in 1921

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More Definitions for arms race

arms race


English Language Learners Definition of arms race

: a situation in which countries that are enemies each try to build or collect weapons faster than the other can

More from Merriam-Webster on arms race Encyclopedia article about arms race

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to deny responsibility for

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