Definition of nuclear
1 : of, relating to, or constituting a nucleus annexation of the suburban fringe by the nuclear metropolis — W. H. Wickwar
2a : of or relating to the atomic nucleus nuclear reaction nuclear physicsb : used in or produced by a nuclear (see nuclear 2) reaction (such as fission) nuclear fuel nuclear waste nuclear energyc (1) : being a weapon whose destructive power derives from an uncontrolled nuclear reaction (2) : of, produced by, or involving nuclear weapons the nuclear age nuclear war (3) : armed with nuclear weapons nuclear powersd : of, relating to, or powered by nuclear energy a nuclear submarine the nuclear debate a nuclear plant
How do you pronounce nuclear?
Though disapproved of by many, pronunciations ending in \-kyə-lər\ have been found in widespread use among educated speakers including scientists, lawyers, professors, congressmen, U.S. cabinet members, and at least two U.S. presidents and one vice president. While most common in the U.S., these pronunciations have also been heard from British and Canadian speakers.
Recent Examples of nuclear from the Web
Despite escalating tension between Russia and the U.S., all member nations were able to agree on Friday that North Korea’s nuclear program and missile testing warranted further action.
Still, the company had to acknowledge that nuclear power just isn’t competitive with other renewables or with natural gas generating plants.
Masashi Goto, a former Toshiba engineer who specialized in nuclear containment vessels, said Nishida was overly confident, as his background was not in the industry.
The California Coastal Commission has rescheduled its next briefing over the 2015 permit that allows Southern California Edison to bury millions of pounds of nuclear waste along the San Diego County coast.
Besides its regular ballistic missile test-launches, North Korea carried out two of its five nuclear tests last year -- in January and September.
North Korea has so far this year refrained from conducting a nuclear test.
A fire broke mid-April at the lab’s PF-4 plutonium building where the plutonium cores of nuclear weapons are produced.
President Barack Obama and John Kerry, the former secretary of state, had hoped the deal, while limited to nuclear fuel production, would open a pathway to cooperation between the two countries.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nuclear'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of nuclear
NUCLEAR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nuclear for English Language Learners
: of, relating to, producing, or using energy that is created when the nuclei of atoms are split apart or joined together
: having or involving nuclear weapons
: of or relating to the nucleus of an atom
NUCLEAR Defined for Kids
Definition of nuclear for Students
1 : of, relating to, or being a nucleus (as of a cell)
2 : of or relating to the nucleus of the atom Fission is a nuclear reaction.
3 : produced by a nuclear reaction nuclear energy
4 : of, relating to, or being a weapon whose destructive power comes from an uncontrolled nuclear reaction
5 : relating to or powered by nuclear energy a nuclear submarine
Seen and Heard
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