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A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large numbers of humans (and other life forms) and/or cause great damage to man-made structures (e.g., buildings), natural structures (e.g., mountains), or the biosphere in general.


The scope and application of the term has evolved and been disputed, often signifying more politically than technically.

Coined in reference to aerial bombing with chemical explosives, it has come to distinguish large-scale weaponry of other technologies, such as chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.

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