mega·ton | \ˈme-gə-ˌtən \

Definition of megaton 

: an explosive force equivalent to that of one million tons of TNT

Examples of megaton in a Sentence

an atomic explosion with a force of several megatons

Recent Examples on the Web

Dearborn's team modeled how a one-megaton device, detonated away from the surface of the asteroid Bennu — this is known as stand-off detonation, to direct a blast wave of X-rays toward the target — would affect its trajectory. Popular Mechanics, "The Asteroid Hunters," 11 Nov. 2015 Most hydrogen bombs are rated in megatons, the equivalent of 1,000 kilotons. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "What To Do in a Nuclear Attack," 7 Feb. 2018 Reports from Russia indicate the bomb could be as large as 100 megatons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Pentagon Document Confirms Existence of Russian Doomsday Torpedo," 16 Jan. 2018 One of the five new nuclear weapons systems Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled last week was a terrible new doomsday torpedo that can cross entire oceans to deliver a multi-megaton punch. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How Russia’s New Doomsday Torpedo Works," 7 Mar. 2018 Ian Sample at The Guardian reports that for very small black holes, that radiation would eventually lead to a massive explosion, releasing 1 million megatons of energy. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Stephen Hawking, the Expansive Cosmologist Who Shone Light On the Universe, Has Died at 76," 14 Mar. 2018 These modern warheads generally have a yield of around 0.5 to 1 megatons—or about 25 to 50 times more powerful than the Fat Boy bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Rupert Goodwins, Ars Technica, "I’m a nuclear armageddon survivor: Ask me anything," 25 Nov. 2017 The four-megaton weapon did not detonate only because its fourth and last safety switch held in place, the other three 50-cent pieces of equipment having armed themselves. Michael Auslin, The Atlantic, "Trump Should Help North Korea Keep Its Nukes Safe," 5 Nov. 2017 Preliminary analysis of the September 3rd test indicated a yield of one megaton, revised downward to 150 kilotons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "North Korea May Have Detonated a 250 Kiloton Bomb," 15 Sep. 2017

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

1952, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

22 Aug 2018

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The first known use of megaton was in 1952

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English Language Learners Definition of megaton

: an explosive force that is equal to one million tons of TNT

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