nano·​par·​ti·​cle ˈna-nə-ˌpär-ti-kəl How to pronounce nanoparticle (audio)
: a microscopic particle whose size is measured in nanometers

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Nanoparticles of a material usually have very different qualities from those that the material has at its ordinary scale, which is one reason why there's such excitement about the possibilities for how they might be used in future technologies. Many uses have already been developed. Aluminum nanoparticles added to rocket fuel can make the fuel burn twice as fast and release much more energy. Silicon nanoparticles are increasing the energy efficiency of solar cells by allowing the energy from ultraviolet light to be captured for the first time. Other nanoparticles are now helping prevent rust in metals, produce stronger batteries, enhance the diagnosis of cancer, and improve the filtering of water, and the number of other applications is growing fast.

Examples of nanoparticle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yadav said that vitamins could be administered transdermally, but only if they were formulated as nanoparticles and encased in a lipophilic (fat-soluble) substance. Rachel Murphy, Verywell Health, 11 June 2024 They are made from human cell membranes plus a nanoparticle and are meant to be used in conjunction with antibiotics in critically ill patients, Field explained. Cecilia.butini, Vox, 4 June 2024 Currently, many of the raw materials and critical components required to make a vaccine against a new strain—including filters, tubes, and the lipids to make nanoparticles—are in very short supply. Nicole Lurie, Foreign Affairs, 20 Apr. 2021 So far, researchers have only explored this in mouse models, finding microplastics in the brains of mice fed polystyrene nanoparticles. Kaitlin Sullivan, Health, 31 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for nanoparticle 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nanoparticle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1983, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nanoparticle was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near nanoparticle

Cite this Entry

“Nanoparticle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


nano·​par·​ti·​cle -ˌpärt-i-kəl How to pronounce nanoparticle (audio)
: a microscopic particle whose size is measured in nanometers
drugs bound to biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles

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