first strike

first strike
the initial use of nuclear weapons to attack a country that also has nuclear weapons; considered feasible only when the attacker can destroy the other country's ability to retaliate

the Pakistani president promised no first strike against India

Hypernyms: ↑strike

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: a preemptive nuclear attack
first-strike \\ˈ ̷ ̷ ¦ ̷ ̷ \ adjective

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the initial use of nuclear weapons in a conflict, in which the attacker tries to destroy the adversary's strategic nuclear forces.

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first strike noun
A pre-emptive attack on an enemy, intended to destroy their nuclear weapons before they can be brought into use
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Main Entry:first

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first strike UK US noun [countable] [singular first strike plural first strikes]
an attack with nuclear weapons that is intended to destroy an enemy’s nuclear weapons
Thesaurus: military or armed attackhyponym nuclear weaponshyponym

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n. an attack with nuclear weapons designed to destroy the enemy's nuclear weapons before their use

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noun, pl ⋯ strikes [count]
: a nuclear attack against an enemy before the enemy can attack

launch a first strike

first-strike adj, always used before a noun

a first-strike capability/threat

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ˌfirst ˈstrike f33 [first strike] noun
an attack on an enemy made before they attack you

the threat of a strategic first strike

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • first strike — n. a surprise attack with nuclear weapons, made with the intention of destroying an enemy nation s means of effective retaliation first strike [fʉrst′strīk′] adj …   English World dictionary

  • first strike — n an attack made on your enemy before they attack you, especially an attack made using ↑nuclear weapons …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • first strike — noun count an attack with nuclear weapons that is intended to destroy an enemy s nuclear weapons …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • first strike — first′ strike′ n. mil a preemptive use of nuclear weapons in a conflict …   From formal English to slang

  • First strike — In nuclear strategy, a first strike is a preemptive surprise attack employing overwhelming force. First strike capability is a country s ability to defeat another nuclear power by destroying its arsenal to the point where the attacking country… …   Wikipedia

  • first-strike — adjective see first strike * * * firstˈ strike adjective • • • Main Entry: ↑first * * * first strike «FURST STRYK», adjective, noun. –adj. 1. (of a nuclear weapon or force) designed or intended for use only in an initial attack: »Weapons openly… …   Useful english dictionary

  • first strike — n. 1) to carry out, make a first strike 2) (misc.) a first strike capability * * * [ˌfɜːst straɪk] make a first strike (misc.) a first strike capability to carry out …   Combinatory dictionary

  • first strike — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms first strike : singular first strike plural first strikes an attack with nuclear weapons that is intended to destroy an enemy s nuclear weapons …   English dictionary

  • first strike —    unannounced aggression    A use referring to an attack before war has been declared; otherwise it would not be euphemistic. A first strike capability is an ability to attack another with nuclear weapons without prior warning.    See also… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • first strike — noun Date: 1960 a preemptive nuclear attack • first strike adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary