Definition of arms race in US English:

arms race


  • A competition between nations for superiority in the development and accumulation of weapons, especially between the US and the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.

    ‘an escalation of the arms race between NATO and the Warsaw Pact’
    • ‘In biological-control arms races, scientists bring in exotic predators and parasites to control exotic pests.’
    • ‘One theory on arms races is that, if controlled at a key stability point, they may contribute to some kind of strategic stability, akin to a balance of power.’
    • ‘‘They also have inhibited arms races within Asia, including those with China,’ he said.’
    • ‘If the US moves forward with weaponization of outer space, the dangers to the Earth of new arms races in space will grow enormously.’
    • ‘The arms race of the Cold War may be dead, but the race for hot weapons has never been so alive.’
    • ‘And it is understood that military spending threatens neighbor states, causing them to arm themselves, so that arms races threaten the peace.’
    • ‘Such views triumphed after World War II in the context of the Cold War and the arms race.’
    • ‘Prior to the outbreak of war, there had been an arms race orientated towards the building of the most up-to-date battleships.’
    • ‘Thereafter, the inability of Russia to provide cheap conventional weapons to client states also reduced regional arms races dramatically.’
    • ‘After decades of systematic study, the relationship between arms races and wars remains a contentious issue.’
    • ‘Anti-spammers have a new weapon in their arms race with the spammers.’
    • ‘The USSR reacted angrily - understandably, as it committed them to a new arms race which they could not afford.’
    • ‘They have never talked about empire, never asked for anything which was not theirs and despite the sabre rattling and bombast of the USA have never been drawn into any counterthreats or paranoic arms races.’
    • ‘The writers convincingly expose the essence and consequences of the arms race in Cold War years.’
    • ‘After World War Two the arms race between the US and the Soviet Union shaped the priorities of the whole system.’
    • ‘An arms race is in progress, compounded, as are all arms races, by vanity and delusion.’
    • ‘The major powers' access to nuclear weapons fuels the arms race around the world.’
    • ‘I have reservations about it because I think it could trigger another Cold War and escalate the arms race once again.’
    • ‘One of the central tenets of arms control theory is that arms control can head off dangerous developments that arise from arms races, thereby contributing to strategic stability and to crisis stability.’
    • ‘The nuclear arms race did not begin today or yesterday, but more than 65 years ago.’


arms race

/ˈärmz ˌrās//ˈɑrmz ˌreɪs/