scorched-earth

adjective
\ ˈskȯrcht-ˈərth How to pronounce scorched-earth (audio) \

Definition of scorched-earth

1 : relating to or being a military policy involving deliberate and usually widespread destruction of property and resources (such as housing and factories) so that an invading enemy cannot use them
2 : directed toward victory or supremacy at all costs : ruthless scorched-earth rhetoric

First Known Use of scorched-earth

1937, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scorched-earth

Dictionary Entries near scorched-earth

scorbutic

scorch

scorched

scorched-earth

scorcher

scorching hot

scorchy

Statistics for scorched-earth

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scorched-earth

The first known use of scorched-earth was in 1937

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scorched-earth

scorched-earth

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of scorched-earth

used to describe a military policy in which all the houses, crops, factories, etc., in an area are destroyed so that an enemy cannot use them

More from Merriam-Webster on scorched-earth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scorched-earth

Comments on scorched-earth

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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