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

That gas is what scientists put inside of centrifuges to make enriched uranium that can be used in nuclear power plants or in atomic bombs. The Christian Science Monitor, "Iranian nuclear enrichment signals resistance to US sanctions," 28 June 2018 Work is proceeding on a new nuclear reactor that would dramatically increase the North’s ability to produce plutonium, a potent fuel for an atomic bomb. William J. Broad, The Seattle Times, "Bolton says North Korea could disarm in a year," 2 July 2018 Enrico Fermi was an architect of the atomic bomb, a father of radioactivity research, and a Nobel Prize–winning scientist who contributed to breakthroughs in quantum mechanics and theoretical physics. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "But, Seriously, Where Is Everybody?," 22 June 2018 The immersive experience begins with an explanation of the genesis, development, and deployment of the atomic bomb and then moves to a second chapter focused on the aftermath of the attack. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "This New Virtual Reality Experience Drops You In Hiroshima Right After It’s Been Bombed," 27 Apr. 2018 Whole classes practice duck-and-cover, not for fear of atomic bombs but in proactive response to the prospect of active shooters. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Eighth Grade’ Review: The Agonies and Glories of Growing Up," 12 July 2018 The resulting blast can easily be 1,000 times as powerful as the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. David E. Sanger And William J. Broad,, "As US demands nuclear disarmament, it moves to expand its arsenal," 15 May 2018 Attempting to measure the damage done to Hiroshima by the atomic bomb overwhelmed science for decades. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Study Shows Full Extent of Radiation Damage to Hiroshima Victims," 1 May 2018 The total is enough to make 6,000 atomic bombs, though the Rokkasho plant operator has insisted there is no risk of proliferation, saying all plutonium is stored safely and closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "Japan OKs ambitious nuke energy goals, plutonium reuse plan," 3 July 2018

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

The first known use of atomic bomb was in 1914

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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

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Comments on atomic bomb

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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