nano·​tech·​nol·​o·​gy | \ ˌna-nō-tek-ˈnä-lə-jē How to pronounce nanotechnology (audio) \

Definition of nanotechnology

: the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale especially to build microscopic devices (such as robots) Placing atoms as though they were bricks, nanotechnology will give us complete control over the structure of matter, allowing us to build any substance or structure permitted by the laws of nature.Science News Once the province of science fiction, nanotechnology, the science of assembling materials one atom at a time, is now the rage among Silicon Valley investors.— Karen Breslau

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Other Words from nanotechnology

nanotechnological \ ˌna-​nō-​ˌtek-​nə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce nanotechnological (audio) \ adjective
nanotechnologist \ ˌna-​nō-​tek-​ˈnä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce nanotechnologist (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Nanotechnology, or nanotech for short, deals with matter at a level that most of us find hard to imagine, since it involves objects with dimensions of 100 billionths of a meter (1/800th of the thickness of a human hair) or less. The chemical and physical properties of materials often change greatly at this scale. Nanotechnology is already being used in automobile tires, land-mine detectors, and computer disk drives. Nanomedicine is a particularly exciting field: Imagine particles the size of a blood cell that could be released into the bloodstream to form into tiny robots and attack cancer cells, or "machines" the size of a molecule that could actually repair the damaged interiors of individual cells.

Examples of nanotechnology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Van Duyne’s work was instrumental in scientific advances in nanotechnology. Bob Goldsborough,, "Richard Van Duyne, Northwestern chemistry professor who studied information transfer via minuscule structures, dies," 5 Sep. 2019 The emerging technologies that make this thinkable include nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science (NBIC). Alexander Thomas, Quartz, "The problem with wanting to reverse aging that no one talks about," 30 Aug. 2019 Technion - Israel Institute of Technology President Peretz Lavie and Dr. Assaf Zinger, an up-and-coming chemical engineering and nanotechnology researcher at the Israeli university, gave a joint presentation at a recent event in Bal Harbour. Sergio Carmona,, "Technion’s global relations presented in Miami," 16 July 2019 In his later years at the Tribune, Van covered technology for the business section, including subjects like wireless and broadband, nanotechnology and Illinois’ biotech community. Bob Goldsborough,, "Jon Van, longtime Tribune science writer, dies," 11 July 2019 Many operate their own research labs, doing work on Alzheimer’s disease, gene editing, and nanotechnology. Deirdre Fernandes,, "Chinese scientists facing greater scrutiny by United States," 8 July 2019 Repellent spray often contains nanotechnology, meaning the particles from the spray are small enough to fill the tiny openings in the leather to prevent water from doing any damage. Irene Hwang, Seventeen, "How to Clean Suede Shoes Like a Fashion Pro," 13 May 2019 The scientists can come back and say there's something called nanotechnology manufacturing that no one ever heard of at the time or artificial intelligence, or any one of a range of almost 100 high-tech processes. Fox News, "Has China been duping the US for nearly half a century?," 13 Aug. 2018 In fact, scientists were more worried than the public about how nanotechnology might affect health and the environment, according to a study Scheufele published in 2007. Alessandra Potenza, The Verge, "Rampage may stoke CRISPR fears, but scientists say it could be educational, too," 18 Apr. 2018

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

1974, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2019

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The first known use of nanotechnology was in 1974

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English Language Learners Definition of nanotechnology

technical : the science of working with atoms and molecules to build devices (such as robots) that are extremely small

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to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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