\ ˈnük How to pronounce nuke (audio) , ˈnyük \

Definition of nuke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a nuclear weapon
2 : a nuclear-powered electric generating station


nuked; nuking

Definition of nuke (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to attack or destroy with or as if with nuclear bombs
2 : microwave

Examples of nuke in a Sentence

Verb a pretty sizable piece of real estate would be nuked if an asteroid struck
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What would happen if a chemical weapon was dropped on Ukraine and/or a short-range tactical nuke? ABC News, 1 May 2022 That’s another reason to fear Putin’s deployment of a tactical nuke would lead to the West retaliating. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 7 Mar. 2022 Consider a 1 megaton nuke, reportedly the size of a warhead on a modern Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 9 Mar. 2022 The administration of President George W. Bush withdrew the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and doubled down on missile-defense spending in order to develop weapons capable of stopping an Iranian or North Korean nuke. David Axe, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 And Iran offers him the best opportunity not only to keep Tehran from getting a nuke but to do so in a way that might make Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin think twice about their own aggressive plans. William Mcgurn, WSJ, 3 Jan. 2022 Four decades later, China might be taking its own swing at the idea of a fractional, orbital nuke. David Axe, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 Israel got a nuke, and with the help of just about every other Western power, Israel has striven to be a state that does bad things to other people and not a state to which bad things happen. Noah Kulwin, The New Republic, 24 June 2021 In this case, the task involves cleaning out a Las Vegas casino vault before the government drops a nuke on the city to eradicate the zombie threat. Brian Lowry, CNN, 13 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Houck, the co-editor and co-publisher of Edible Alaska, said salmon is such a cook-friendly food that there’s no need to nuke it. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 And Joe Manchin and his moderate colleagues seem unwilling to nuke the filibuster. Patrick Caldwell, The New Republic, 6 Dec. 2021 The £350 million Brexit bus causes a roadblock; former Tory Rory Stewart’s awkward selfies are ready to print in Snappy Snaps; and Labour party leader Keir Starmer steels himself to nuke Geronimo the alpaca. Will Pritchard, Wired, 13 Nov. 2021 News that China has tested an orbital nuclear bombardment system has created fears that China could nuke America from space. Michael Peck, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 Weirdly, the reheating instructions said to nuke it in the microwave on high for two minutes. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Sep. 2021 In the span of a year when everyone’s been on edge, prolific Mexican director Michel Franco managed to nuke our comfort zones not once, but twice, delivering separate provocations at back-to-back editions of the Venice Film Festival. Peter Debruge, Variety, 5 Sep. 2021 That bacon will get naturally defrosted in no time, without the need to nuke it in the microwave. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 23 June 2021 All season long, has been building up to a storyline about a crazy, post-apocalyptic cult trying to nuke what’s left of the rest of the world using warheads from a beached nuclear submarine. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 15 June 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of nuke


1958, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nuke


by shortening and respelling from nuclear


derivative of nuke entry 1

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nuit blanche



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Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nuke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on nuke

Nglish: Translation of nuke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nuke for Arabic Speakers


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