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

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Other Words from atomic

atomically \ ə-​ˈtä-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce atomic (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 atomic nuclei of radioactive materials were split to create different elements, which releases a large amount of energy, splitting more atoms as a result and producing a destructive explosion. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Here's How Much Deadlier Today's Nukes Are Compared to WWII A-Bombs," 13 Dec. 2020 Large stars are also much hotter, which means they are overwhelmingly powered by CNO fusion, which fuses hydrogen into helium by means of atomic nuclei transformed in an endless loop between carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. NBC News, "For the first time, scientists detect the ghostly signal that reveals the engine of the universe," 25 Nov. 2020 Imagine a block of silicon, for example, as a mattress with springs representing atomic nuclei. Quanta Magazine, "The Search for Dark Matter Is Dramatically Expanding," 23 Nov. 2020 Looming over any commemoration of V-J Day is the debate over the United States’ decision to drop two atomic bombs on Imperial Japan, a matter still contentious to this day. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, "Twenty-Five of Our Favorite Stories From 2020," 21 Dec. 2020 The Little Boy and the Fat Man were atomic bombs, or fission bombs, which set off a chain reaction of nuclear fission. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Here's How Much Deadlier Today's Nukes Are Compared to WWII A-Bombs," 13 Dec. 2020 For the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, Hiroki Kobayashi documented how Japan remembers the trauma of the atomic bombs, while Robert Clark photographed veterans and survivors in the U.S., Japan, and Europe. Gail Fletcher, History & Culture, "These are the history-defining moments that shaped 2020," 4 Dec. 2020 Those concerns were underscored in a 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) document that identified Fakhrizadeh as a fundamental figure in potential Iranian work to develop technology and skills required for atomic bombs. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "What he knew: Why Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was marked for death," 2 Dec. 2020 Wheelan makes the familiar case that the sheer extent of this violence helped convince the American military that an island-by-island invasion of Japan would be unacceptably costly – paving the way for the use of atomic bombs. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "Before history devolves into mythology: 2020’s best books on World War II," 2 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of atomic

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for atomic

Time Traveler

The first known use of atomic was in 1678

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Statistics for atomic

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Atomic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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

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