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 Even comparatively small tactical nuclear weapons approach the strength of the atomic bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in World War II. Ellen Knickmeyer,, 2 Apr. 2022 In the late summer of 1969, scientists and military commanders gathered in Los Alamos, N.M., the birthplace of the atomic bomb, for a three-day symposium on tactical nuclear weapons. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2022 An Associated Press account said the development of the atomic bomb was one of the factors that influenced his change of career. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Nov. 2021 Like the advent of the gun, the crossbow, and the machine gun, the atomic bomb changed the shape of warfare. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 27 Jan. 2021 In the 1940s, most of the atomic bomb technology was completely new. Katie Hafner, Scientific American, 7 Apr. 2022 In 1952, Landsberg devised a 140-mile link that enabled KTLA to provide live coverage of an atomic bomb test in the Nevada desert. Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2022 The cause was abnormal cardiac rhythm from anemia, said Koichiro Maeda, the secretary general of the Hiroshima branch of Nihon Hidankyo, a Japanese group of atomic bomb survivors of which Mr. Tsuboi served as co-chairman. Alex Traub, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2021 Kids are taught to duck and hide under their desks in case of an atomic bomb. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of atomic bomb

1914, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for atomic bomb

Time Traveler

The first known use of atomic bomb was in 1914

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Dictionary Entries Near atomic bomb

atomic absorption spectroscopy

atomic bomb

atomic clock

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Statistics for atomic bomb

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Atomic bomb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for atomic bomb

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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