balance of terror

noun

: 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. Nash, Nuclear Weapons and International Behavior, 1975

Word History

First Known Use

1955, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of balance of terror was in 1955

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Dictionary Entries Near balance of terror

Cite this Entry

“Balance of terror.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balance%20of%20terror. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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