domino theory

noun

Definition of domino theory

1 : a theory that if one nation becomes Communist-controlled the neighboring nations will also become Communist-controlled
2 : the theory that if one act or event is allowed to take place a series of similar acts or events will follow

Examples of domino theory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And didn’t the Cold War give rise to the Vietnam War, what with domino theory and all? John D'anna, azcentral, "D'Anna: Imagining a world with no politics in Hollywood," 7 Mar. 2018

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

First Known Use of domino theory

1965, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for domino theory

from the fact that if dominoes are stood on end one slightly behind the other, a slight push on the first will topple the others

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Time Traveler for domino theory

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The first known use of domino theory was in 1965

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Cite this Entry

“Domino theory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/domino%20theory. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on domino theory

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about domino theory

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