first strike


Definition of first strike

: a preemptive nuclear attack

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from first strike

first-strike \ ˈfərs(t)-​ˈstrīk How to pronounce first-strike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of first strike in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Is Russia worried about an American first strike today? Ankit Panda, The New Republic, "The Absurd Strategy Behind Russia’s Nuclear Explosion," 21 Aug. 2019 This would not be the first strike by California grocery workers. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Why 47,000 grocery workers in California may go on strike," 5 Sep. 2019 Those negotiations have been ongoing for years and last week escalated into the first strike by ferry workers of the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific since 1977. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska ferry workers union and state reach tentative contract deal; Saturday is earliest some sailings could resume," 2 Aug. 2019 The duo first struck up romance rumors when they were seen kissing on vacation following Cyrus's breakup from Liam Hemsworth. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Miley Cyrus and Kaitlynn Carter Went Out Together After the VMAs," 27 Aug. 2019 Witnesses said the suspect's vehicle first struck the victims' silver 4-door sedan on the freeway, causing the sedan to spin out in the middle of traffic, according to police. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "Two men shot dead on East Freeway identified as Louisiana residents," 13 Aug. 2019 The strike started last Wednesday, and is the first strike of IBU’s ferry workers since 1977. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska ferry workers strike continues into 6th day as union says 'positive steps’ reached in talks," 29 July 2019 Despite most Americans being in favor of a purely retaliatory nuclear policy, official US policy leaves open the possibility of a first strike. Alex Wellerstein, Quartz, "America’s nuclear-weapons policy isn’t what you think—it’s much worse," 6 Aug. 2019 He was first struck by a southbound 2009 Ford Focus driven by a 28-year-old Santa Rosa woman. Bay City News, The Mercury News, "Sonoma County bicyclist dies after being hit by two cars," 23 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of first strike

1956, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about first strike

Statistics for first strike

Last Updated

1 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for first strike

The first known use of first strike was in 1956

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for first strike

first strike


English Language Learners Definition of first strike

: a nuclear attack against an enemy before the enemy can attack

More from Merriam-Webster on first strike

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with first strike

Comments on first strike

What made you want to look up first strike? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!