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

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 No pigment is involved; its special glossy finish, enabled by nanotechnology, refracts light, like a prism. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color’ Review: Vibrant From Any Angle," 26 May 2018 Sawyer went on to earn degrees in engineering and nanotechnology before starting a Houston company called Rebellion Photonics, which develops high-tech cameras to detect gas leaks in oil installations. David Yaffe-bellany, star-telegram, "As Trump backlash continues, STEM professionals in Texas run for office," 12 July 2018 About four years ago, Dais had lined up a Chinese company to help develop its business in nanotechnology that helps produce clean water. Paul Wiseman, The Seattle Times, "Why they fight: US and China brawl over high technology," 3 July 2018 The company uses nanotechnology and high-powered microscopes to analyze individual hair strands. Noel Cymone Walker, Allure, "Why Wig and Extension Brands Are Turning Their Focus to Hair-Care Analysis," 27 June 2018 The Diamond Age foresaw the future of nanotechnology in 1995. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "How Neal Stephenson Got Book Ideas by Moonlighting at Blue Origin," 19 June 2018 Image In his years in public education, Alain E. Kaloyeros was one of New York’s biggest success stories, parlaying his expertise in nanotechnology to become one of the state’s most powerful and highest-paid employees. Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, "Behind the ‘Buffalo Billion,’ a Bid-Rigging Scheme Emerges," 18 June 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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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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