American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A preemptive attack against an enemy, especially one using nuclear weapons against an enemy armed with nuclear weapons.
- n. 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 first strike against a northern airfield was at Kep in April 1967, prompting the NVAF to move many of its one hundred or so fighters to sanctuary in China.”
“Up and over he went for his bomb run and the timing was great as the first strike flight was approaching their own roll-in.”
“Nor is the Pershing II, which cannot even reach most Soviet strategic weapons, a potential first strike weapon.”
“The air force conducts the first strike against the Paul Doumer bridge.”
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