glu·​on | \ ˈglü-ˌän How to pronounce gluon (audio) \

Definition of gluon

: a hypothetical neutral massless particle held to bind together quarks to form hadrons

Examples of gluon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The building blocks of atoms, protons and neutrons, are composed of a collection of particles called quarks and gluons. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Atoms may come apart as the Universe’s biggest stars explode," 24 Oct. 2018 But there’s much more—protons and neutrons are made up of quarks held together by gluons, one of several types of boson. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Large Hadron Collider Is Getting A Huge Power Boost," 19 June 2018 Then there are dozens of particles made up of those elementary particles, including hadrons, which are constructed of quarks and gluons, and mesons, made of a quark and anti-quark. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Large Hadron Collider Is Getting A Huge Power Boost," 19 June 2018 Protons and neutrons are familiar as tiny solids, but particle accelerators can melt them into what’s called a quark-gluon plasma, or QGP. Sylvia Morrow, Discover Magazine, "The Fastest Fluid," 1 Feb. 2018 But in this special kind of collision, the number of gluons exchanged is important. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "LHC Scientists Discover First Evidence of Particle Proposed Nearly 50 Years Ago," 8 Feb. 2018 What surprised the researchers was that the flow of quark-gluon plasma caught the heavy D-zero particles. NBC News, "'Misbehaving' Particles May Answer Key Question about Big Bang," 12 June 2017 In the standard model — the theoretical picture of what physicists think matter is made of — atomic nuclei are broken down into protons and neutrons, which are broken down further into fundamental particles called quarks and gluons. Lisa Grossman, WIRED, "Large Hadron Collider Starts Edging Out Rivals," 15 Oct. 2010

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

1971, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gluon

glue entry 1 + -on entry 2

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Dictionary Entries near gluon






glutaconic acid


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Time Traveler for gluon

The first known use of gluon was in 1971

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More from Merriam-Webster on gluon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gluon Encyclopedia article about gluon

Comments on gluon

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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