balance of terror

noun

Definition of balance of terror

: a situation in which the threat of mutual annihilation by nations with the capability to wage nuclear war serves as a deterrent against military aggression and the use of nuclear weapons
  • Change, unfamiliarity, and the disconcerting potentialities of technology make balance of terror constantly precarious.
  • —Henry T. NashNuclear Weapons and International Behavior1975

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First Known Use of balance of terror

1955

in the meaning defined above

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