Definition of second strike in US English:

second strike


  • A retaliatory attack conducted with weapons designed to withstand an initial nuclear attack (a “first strike”)

    as modifier ‘each of the superpowers had a credible second-strike capability’
    • ‘Yet even as the bomber forces were being built, another technology was offering more assurance of a second-strike capability: the long-range ballistic missile.’
    • ‘This in turn required each side to possess a guaranteed second-strike capability, one which could survive the opponent's massive, and possibly unanticipated, first strike.’
    • ‘Last month it ordered two nuclear submarines from Germany in order to let Tehran know it has second-strike capacity should Tel Aviv be hit.’
    • ‘With the raising of this division, the architecture of India's nuclear second strike capability is clearer.’
    • ‘There's no harm in having second-strike capability, just don't use it.’
    • ‘It is pursuing second-strike capability via sub-launched missiles.’
    • ‘Mofaz was inspecting the refitting of an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine, which experts say could be armed with nuclear missiles, giving Israel a second-strike capability if it were attacked with weapons of mass destruction.’
    • ‘Lo Chih-cheng, a political analyst at the Institute for National Policy Research, expressed a wish that the US would help Taiwan develop its second-strike capability against Chinese attacks.’
    • ‘Defining ‘unacceptable damage’: According to the logic of nuclear deterrence thinking, it is not enough to have a second-strike capacity that survives a possible first strike.’
    • ‘Capable of remaining submerged, nuclear-capable submarines would be the most difficult of the nuclear-delivery platforms to detect and engage, which enhances their relevance as a credible second-strike capability.’
    • ‘An air dropped bomb is perhaps the farthest from a second strike weapon on the subcontinent.’
    • ‘The key to deterrence is a second-strike capacity - the ability to absorb an attack on one's nuclear arsenal and still mount a nuclear response.’
    • ‘Leaders from both countries have spoken openly about the obscenity of ‘first strikes’ or ‘second strikes’, and their willingness to use nuclear warheads.’
    • ‘Then the hangars could be emptied for a second strike, and afterwards planes could be recovered to be rearmed and refueled.’
    • ‘In a throwback to Cold War parlance, this is called ‘assured retaliation, second strike capability’.’
    • ‘The old generals on TV talk of first strike and second-strike capabilities as though they're discussing a family board game.’
    • ‘The value of second-strike capability is debatable.’
    • ‘India however has always maintained caution, forever urging the international community to accept Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, and at all times upheld its second-strike policy.’
    • ‘The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it.’


second strike

/ˌsekənd ˈstrīk/