atomic bomb


Definition of atomic bomb

1 : a bomb whose violent explosive power is due to the sudden release of energy resulting from the splitting of nuclei of a heavy chemical element (such as plutonium or uranium) by neutrons in a very rapid chain reaction

called also atom bomb

2 : a nuclear weapon (such as a hydrogen bomb)

Examples of atomic bomb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Earlier this year, researchers discovered the wreck of the storied World War II battleship USS Nevada, which survived the Pearl Harbor attack and post-war atomic bomb tests. James Rogers, Fox News, "USS Oklahoma sailor killed at Pearl Harbor laid to rest in Tennessee," 27 Oct. 2020 More: The spill initially created great concern, as the Revere site at one time contained radioactive materials from the days when it was utilized for atomic bomb component and uranium rod development in the 1940s and 1950s. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Company fined $60,000 for dock collapse, material spill in Detroit River," 12 Oct. 2020 Many Lebanese immigrants know of people who died in the massive explosion, which resembled a smaller atomic bomb, or of people who were injured when buildings collapsed or were cut by glass from shattered windows. Daniel Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, "Beirut blast has taken emotional toll on thousands of Lebanese immigrants in the U.S.," 14 Aug. 2020 Hiroshima, Japan, marks the 75th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack with a ceremony at a peace park. David Clark Scott, The Christian Science Monitor, "Monday Sunrise Briefing: A new era in collaborative spaceflight," 3 Aug. 2020 Some are talking about making the political decision to walk out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and manufacture an atomic bomb. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Why the Assassination of a Scientist Will Have No Impact on Iran’s Nuclear Program," 30 Nov. 2020 In the West, Fakhrizadeh was commonly referred to as Iran's Robert Oppenheimer, the American scientist who helped develop the atomic bomb in 1945, and was considered among the most important nuclear scientists in Iran. NBC News, "Iran's supreme leader vows retaliation for assassination of leading scientist," 28 Nov. 2020 The Trump administration has compared Operation Warp Speed's program to the notoriously secret government project to make the first atomic bomb, the Manhattan Project. CBS News, "U.S. official leading COVID-19 vaccine distribution says "no shortcuts" are being taken on safety," 28 Oct. 2020 Fakhrizadeh, who was around sixty and had a graying beard, and also a bit of a paunch, has often been compared to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of America’s atomic bomb, and A. Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Why the Assassination of a Scientist Will Have No Impact on Iran’s Nuclear Program," 30 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atomic bomb.' 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 bomb

1914, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for atomic bomb

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The first known use of atomic bomb was in 1914

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Statistics for atomic bomb

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Atomic bomb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for atomic bomb

atomic bomb


English Language Learners Definition of atomic bomb

: a bomb that produces an extremely powerful explosion when atoms are split apart

atomic bomb


Kids Definition of atomic bomb

: a bomb whose great power is due to the sudden release of the energy in the nuclei of atoms

More from Merriam-Webster on atomic bomb

Nglish: Translation of atomic bomb for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about atomic bomb

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