domino theory


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 That was the sole country Communist Vietnam ever invaded, forever undercutting the domino theory — the war’s foundational lie. New York Times, 9 June 2021 This belief in this domino theory was so strong that the United States broke with its European allies and refused to sign the 1954 Geneva Accords ending the French war. New York Times, 9 June 2021 If the domino theory holds true in this case, EU countries would also follow the UK’s lead, along with the US. Hasit Shah, Quartz, 22 Apr. 2021 And didn’t the Cold War give rise to the Vietnam War, what with domino theory and all? John D'anna, azcentral, 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.

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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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The first known use of domino theory was in 1965

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Cite this Entry

“Domino theory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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