nuclear winter


Definition of nuclear winter

: the chilling of climate that is hypothesized to be a consequence of nuclear war and to result from the prolonged blockage of sunlight by high-altitude dust clouds produced by nuclear explosions

Examples of nuclear winter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is about the kids, and the challenge of surviving this nuclear winter of a school year. Ellen Mccarthy, Washington Post, "In 2020, back-to-school shopping means frantically searching for other families to ‘bubble up’ with," 9 Aug. 2020 Bridich is trying to tap-dance around a nuclear winter that’s partly of his own making. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Keeler: Nolan Arenado or Jeff Bridich, Dick Monfort? Who’s it gonna be?," 21 Jan. 2020 The years that followed would have been like the apocalyptic nuclear winter that scientists say would follow a nuclear war, complete with raging fires and black-out skies. Nola Taylor Redd, Smithsonian Magazine, "After the Dinosaur-Killing Impact, Soot Played a Remarkable Role in Extinction," 27 Apr. 2020 And the game has survived far worse, from Rose to the steroid era – yes, kids, that was far more impactful and wide-ranging – to its nuclear winter of 1994-95. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Opinion: As LeBron James rips MLB, it's clear Astros scandal isn't all bad publicity," 19 Feb. 2020 Hippie communes sprouted up in the 1970s and 1980s in order to escape an impending nuclear winter, for example. Harrison Stetler, The New York Review of Books, "‘Collapsologie’: Constructing an Idea of How Things Fall Apart," 21 Jan. 2020 Yu says these particles weren’t previously considered in nuclear winter models because of the assumption that they’ll be quickly degraded in the stratosphere. Madeleine Stone, National Geographic, "To better grasp nuclear winter, scientists study wildfire cloud," 8 Aug. 2019 According to Denkenberger, who published his work in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, there are ways to sustain humanity even amid a nuclear winter. Fox News, "Nuclear winter would trigger a global famine, but one expert says his doomsday diet could save humanity," 15 Jan. 2020 After the blasts comes the fallout, the depthless smoke of nuclear winter, the ensuing end of the crops that sustain our mortal bodies, and the certain starvation of those too unlucky to have survived the war. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "World War III Is an Irresistible Meme," 5 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nuclear winter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of nuclear winter

1983, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nuclear winter

Time Traveler for nuclear winter

Time Traveler

The first known use of nuclear winter was in 1983

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nuclear winter

Cite this Entry

“Nuclear winter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on nuclear winter Encyclopedia article about nuclear winter

Comments on nuclear winter

What made you want to look up nuclear winter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!