domino

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domino theory

1. The political theory that, if one country or area adopts communism, then the surrounding ones will as well. The domino theory was a major concern as the Soviet Union expanded its power after World War II.
2. By extension, the idea that an event in one country will result in similar events in the surrounding countries. The string of revolutions that occurred in neighboring countries during the Arab Spring was a great example of domino theory in action.
See also: domino, theory

domino effect

A phenomenon in which an initial event causes a series of other related events to occur, much like the sequence seen in toppling dominos; a chain reaction. The convenience store's decision to stop selling tobacco products caused a domino effect throughout the industry, leading other chains to quickly follow suit. When I took one book out of the bookcase, it caused a domino effect, causing all of the others to topple over.
See also: domino, effect

a domino effect

the effect which a situation or event has on a series of other situations or events
Usage notes: Dominoes are a set of small, rectangle-shaped pieces of wood or plastic, marked with spots on one side. If dominoes are placed standing next to each other, each one will knock the next one over.
Young people can't afford even the small houses, so the people in those houses can't move on to the bigger houses. It's the domino effect.
See also: domino, effect

domino

n. a one-hundred-dollar bill. How many dominos is that going to cost?