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 In the dead of summer, nuclear winter is coming for a handful of Pac-12 schools excluded from the vicious realignment game. Jon Wilner | , oregonlive, 4 Aug. 2023 Working with epidemiologist Steve Luby, a professor of medicine and infectious disease, the pair focused on three familiar threats to the species — global pandemics, extreme climate change and nuclear winter — along with a fourth, newer menace: advanced artificial intelligence. Nitasha Tiku, Washington Post, 5 July 2023 Meanwhile, Druckmann fruitfully expands on the backstory of a key supporting player with a deeply affecting, nearly standalone flashback episode about a romance that blossoms at the end of the world, like a flower sprouting from the ashes of nuclear winter. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 10 Jan. 2023 Sixty years ago this month, the Cuban missile crisis plunged the world into fear of a nuclear winter, when Washington caught the Soviet Union building nuclear missile launch sites less than 100 miles from the U.S. coastline, and blockaded the island. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Oct. 2022 Not when the skies go dark with the asteroid version of a nuclear winter, dust and debris covering the sun. Korey Haynes, Discover Magazine, 19 Nov. 2018 Textbooks describe a global firestorm and toxic fallout, followed by years of photosynthesis-blocking particulate pollution, nuclear winter and climate change. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 30 May 2018 After the nuclear winter, it has been said, bright shoots will arise from the rubble. Jamie Kitman, Car and Driver, 1 Jan. 2023 But what are the likely effects on global food production during a nuclear winter? Matt Benoit, Discover Magazine, 7 May 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nuclear winter.' 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 nuclear winter was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near nuclear winter

Cite this Entry

“Nuclear winter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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