atom·​ic | \ə-ˈtä-mik \

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

b : atomistic sense 2

3 : minute

4 of a chemical element : existing in the state of separate atoms

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Other Words from atomic

atomically \ -​mi-​k(ə-​)lē \ 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

These detectors are designed to pick up the characteristic blue light emitted after a neutrino interacts with an atomic nucleus. Mike Wall, NBC News, "High-energy 'ghost particle' traced to distant galaxy in astronomy breakthrough," 12 July 2018 In the early 1940s Russia’s station chiefs in the West were ordered to gather evidence on any atomic work undertaken by American scientists. Ronald Radosh, New York Times, "In This True-Life Spy Story, It’s America vs. Russia, the Early Years," 10 Apr. 2018 Engineers at Intel's Ronler Acres research campus in Hillsboro kept up the pace even as the features on the chips approached the atomic level. Mike Rogoway,, "Intel hits a wall on Moore's Law; growth in computing power finally slows," 3 May 2018 It was aired a year after its initial broadcast, as part of the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan, but the BBC didn't screen it again until the mid-2000s. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Sleep no more: Threads is coming to Blu-ray," 25 Jan. 2018 His hosts were showing off their sprawling Yongbyon atomic-energy complex. The Economist, "North Korea presents nuclear disarmament’s biggest challenge yet," 5 July 2018 Trump and the younger Kim had traded threats and insults during 2017 as North Korea conducted atomic and ballistic missile tests, fueling fears of war. Washington Post, "Traveling with Pompeo on secret mission to North Korea," 14 May 2018 Trump and the younger Kim had traded threats and insults during 2017 as North Korea conducted atomic and ballistic missile tests, fueling fears of war. Matthew Lee, Fox News, "2 trips to NKorea with top US diplomat, 18 years apart," 11 May 2018 As a precursor to the summit, Kim promised last week to extend his freeze on missile and atomic tests, as well as dismantle a nuclear test site believed to have been badly damaged by recent explosions. Fortune, "Kim Jong Un Urges Peace After Historic Walk Over Korean Border," 27 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for atomic

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for atomic

The first known use of atomic was in 1678

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More Definitions for atomic



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 \

Kids Definition of atomic

1 : of or relating to atoms atomic physics

2 : nuclear sense 3 atomic energy

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