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

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Time Traveler for scorched-earth

Time Traveler

The first known use of scorched-earth was in 1937

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Cite this Entry

“Scorched-earth.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scorched-earth. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for scorched-earth

scorched-earth

adjective
How to pronounce scorched-earth (audio)

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

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