nucleon

noun

nu·​cle·​on ˈnü-klē-ˌän How to pronounce nucleon (audio)
ˈnyü-
1
: a proton or neutron especially in the atomic nucleus
2
: a hypothetical single entity with one-half unit of isospin that can manifest itself as either a proton or a neutron
nucleonic adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Her model explained why certain numbers of nucleons make for stable atomic configurations. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 25 Feb. 2020 Her model explained why certain numbers of nucleons make for stable atomic configurations. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 25 Feb. 2020 Her model explained why certain numbers of nucleons make for stable atomic configurations. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 25 Feb. 2020 Her model explained why certain numbers of nucleons make for stable atomic configurations. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 25 Feb. 2020 The isotope is created by a nuclear reaction, and the research team believes the nucleus wobbles because of one extra nucleon. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 12 Feb. 2020 Plenty of nuclei have odd numbers of nucleons overall, but this gold isotope is a rare one because of the wobbling. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 12 Feb. 2020 Oxygen atoms, for example, have eight protons, but may have eight or ten neutrons, for a total of 16 or 18 nucleons. The Economist, 1 Aug. 2019 Atomic nuclei are made of protons and neutrons, known collectively as nucleons. The Economist, 1 Aug. 2019 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1923, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nucleon was in 1923

Dictionary Entries Near nucleon

Cite this Entry

“Nucleon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nucleon. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition

nucleon

noun
nu·​cle·​on ˈn(y)ü-klē-ˌän How to pronounce nucleon (audio)
: a nuclear particle:
a
: proton
b
nucleonic adjective

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