Etymology
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deterrence (n.)

1788, "act of deterring; that which deters;" see deterrent + -ence. In a Cold War context (1955), "the strategy of demonstrating the will to inflict punitive damage in hopes of convincing the enemy to refrain from an action." Out of it naturally grew the concept of assured destruction.

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Definitions of deterrence

deterrence (n.)
a negative motivational influence;
Synonyms: disincentive
deterrence (n.)
a communication that makes you afraid to try something;
Synonyms: determent / intimidation
deterrence (n.)
the act or process of discouraging actions or preventing occurrences by instilling fear or doubt or anxiety;
From wordnet.princeton.edu