Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A systematic numerical reduction, especially of nuclear weapons, in which more than one weapon or warhead is destroyed for every new one that is built.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A systematic, gradual reduction in the number of something (especially nuclear weapons), normally by destroying more than are built

Etymologies

On the model of buildup.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • And, of course, you can continue to have offensive weapon builddown, as we are doing unilaterally in this country and as the Russians are doing.

    CNN Transcript Sep 2, 2001

  • During the downsizing and defense builddown of the 1980s and early 1990s, many traditional IT professionals were laid off.

    Expanding Women's Role In Science And Technology

  • "They propose a builddown with elimination of many existing weapons, allowing both sides to replace obsolete launchers, both sides to reach a total of five thousand deliverable warheads, that number to remain stable for five years after the three-year reduction period.

    Red Storm Rising

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