atom·​ic | \ ə-ˈtä-mik How to pronounce atomic (audio) \

Definition of atomic

1a : of, relating to, or concerned with atoms atomic physics
b : nuclear sense 2 atomic energy
2a : marked by acceptance of the theory of atomism
3 : minute
4 of a chemical element : existing in the state of separate atoms

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from atomic

atomically \ ə-​ˈtä-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce atomically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of atomic in a Sentence

made atomic adjustments to the clock's mechanism to keep it from whirring as it ran
Recent Examples on the Web The chief antagonist to these concerned scientists is Edward Teller (Joel Basman), the most fervent advocate for the construction of a hydrogen bomb that would make the atomic blasts in Japan seem almost bush league. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Adventures of a Mathematician': Film Review | Palm Springs 2020," 17 Jan. 2020 Ultimately, that would come in the form of a broader Iran deal that deals not just with atomic proliferation but the other concerns, including curbing ballistic missile tests. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump tests limits of Iran policy with Persian tweet," 16 Jan. 2020 At the Hunters Point Shipyard, which was tainted by radiation experiments and fallout from atomic-bomb tests during the Cold War, future development is uncertain as the Navy prepares to retest the soil and gather new data. J.k. Dineen,, "Bay Area megaprojects fail to deliver on big housing promises," 16 Jan. 2020 Around the World Without Refueling The first B-52 Stratofortress took to the sky just four years later, on April 15, 1952, three years after the Soviet Union developed their first atomic weapon. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the B-52 Is Such a Badass Plane," 15 Jan. 2020 Critically, Tehran also remains a party to the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state, which bars it from building atomic arms. Ankit Panda, The New Republic, "Iran Has Not Abandoned the Nuclear Deal," 7 Jan. 2020 As the transfermium wars continued, an irony emerged: atomic researchers were chasing immortality through the discovery of elements that quickly blinked out of existence. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, "The Histories Hidden in the Periodic Table," 27 Dec. 2019 Iran has begun operating a secondary circuit at one of its heavy water nuclear reactors as part of its efforts to redesign under the 2015 nuclear deal, the country’s atomic energy chief said on Monday. Fox News, "Iran starts new development on heavy water nuclear reactor, official says," 24 Dec. 2019 Speculation that something sinister was afoot was fuelled by the fact that Homi Bhabha, head of India’s atomic programme, was on board the second plane. The Economist, "Death in the Alps," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atomic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of atomic

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about atomic

Time Traveler for atomic

Time Traveler

The first known use of atomic was in 1678

See more words from the same year

Statistics for atomic

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Atomic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for atomic


How to pronounce atomic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of atomic

: of or relating to atoms
: of, relating to, or using the energy that is produced when atoms are split apart


atom·​ic | \ ə-ˈtä-mik How to pronounce atomic (audio) \

Kids Definition of atomic

1 : of or relating to atoms atomic physics
2 : nuclear sense 3 atomic energy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on atomic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for atomic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with atomic

Spanish Central: Translation of atomic

Nglish: Translation of atomic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of atomic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on atomic

What made you want to look up atomic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!