fissile was our Word of the Day on 12/22/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of fissile from the Web
North Korea was estimated to possess enough fissile material for about 10-20 nuclear warheads, an increase on the estimates of previous years, Sipri said.
McMillan initially promised to train fissile material handlers to be more heedful of plutonium-handling perils, for example, and to bring the inventory and safety documents guiding their work up to date.
Meanwhile, the DPRK continues test-firing missiles and threatening to finally successfully pair a fissile warhead with an ICBM that can reach the American coast.
His father, a former merchant marine who had retrained as a nuclear engineer, came to Richland to work for a plant that supplied fissile material to the Manhattan Project.
Most intriguingly, Obama proposed a new treaty to halt production of fissile materials intended for use in nuclear weapons.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fissile'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
When scientists first used fissile back in the 1600s, the notion of splitting the nucleus of an atom would have seemed far-fetched indeed. In those days, people thought that atoms were the smallest particles of matter that existed and therefore could not be split. Fissile (which can be traced back to Latin findere, meaning "to split") was used in reference to things like rocks. When we hear about "fissile materials" today, the reference is usually to nuclear fission: the splitting of an atomic nucleus that releases a huge amount of energy. But there is still a place in our language for the original sense of fissile (and for the noun fissility, meaning "the quality of being fissile"). A geologist, for example, might refer to slate as being fissile.
Origin and Etymology of fissile
Latin fissilis, from findere
First Known Use: 1661See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
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