mutual assured destruction

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Alternative forms[edit]


mutual + assured + destruction


mutual assured destruction (uncountable)

  1. (politics, public policy, military) The threat of massive retaliation using nuclear weapons should a potential enemy use them first, both sides being annihilated in the event of war.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Google searches (3 April 2009) suggest that the two forms of this expression—mutually assured destruction and mutual assured destruction—are roughly equally popular in academic journals and books, but that mutually assured destruction is the favored form in general web usage and in news sources.