gunboat diplomacy


: diplomacy backed by the use or threat of military force

Examples of gunboat diplomacy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the name suggests, gunboat diplomacy is used to pursue diplomatic aims, not military ones. Lauren Kahn, Foreign Affairs, 6 June 2023 Related Story Putin Pulls Russia Back from New START Arms Treaty SSBNs don’t really lend themselves to old-school gunboat diplomacy. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 11 May 2023 In the early 2000s, the Danes twice dispatched frigates with soldiers to the island, in what Robert Huebert, a political scientist at the University of Calgary, called an example of gunboat diplomacy. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 14 June 2022 Through gunboat diplomacy, France forced Haiti to agree to an enormous indemnity in exchange for recognition. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2022 On May 5, the day before the elections, Johnson staged an amateur reenactors’ version of nineteenth-century gunboat diplomacy. Fintan O’Toole, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 The result is that Mr. Erdoğan is the latest exemplar of the effectiveness of gunboat diplomacy, even as traditional military players withdraw from the field. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Nov. 2020 In the 18th century, imperial Britain was able to practice gunboat diplomacy across Africa and the Indian subcontinent, taking direct administrative control of vast swaths of the world. Parag Khanna, Quartz, 16 Dec. 2019 Whether this was a way of proving his commitment or a less-than-subtle suggestion of gunboat diplomacy, the ploy worked. Yoni Wilkenfeld, Quartz, 6 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gunboat diplomacy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1927, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gunboat diplomacy was in 1927

Dictionary Entries Near gunboat diplomacy

Cite this Entry

“Gunboat diplomacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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