\ 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

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Examples of nuke in a Sentence


a pretty sizable piece of real estate would be nuked if an asteroid struck

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Eleven months had passed since the nuke had gone off in his industry. Albert Chen,, "Billion Dollar Fantasy: Inside the War Between FanDuel and DraftKings that Rocked the Gambling Industry," 10 Sep. 2019 If one of those Russian nukes burst in the sky over Kansas City, 818,000 people would die, another 590,000 would be injured. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "What would 'nuclear Armageddon' look like in your city? This simulator shows you | The Kansas City Star," 30 Mar. 2018 The two countries also have nuclear weapons, with India having an estimated 100 to 200 nukes and Pakistan 110 to 130. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Aircraft Shot Down As Crisis Between India and Pakistan Escalates," 27 Feb. 2019 Labor and business, nukes and renewables, markets and mandates, cats and dogs — somehow the bill hit the sweet spot. David Roberts, Vox, "California is this close to its boldest energy target yet: 100% clean electricity," 31 Aug. 2018 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang in September for their third summit, officials announced Monday, as doubt grows about the Hermit Kingdom’s vow to end its nuke and missile programs. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "North and South Korean leaders to meet for third summit in September," 13 Aug. 2018 The Senate’s bill does permit deployment of the low-yield nukes on submarines and authorizes replenishing some of the money President Trump siphoned from military construction projects to pay for the border wall. Washington Post, "In a sign of fights to come, House defense bill highlights partisan divide over Iran, border wall, Guantanamo," 14 June 2019 This is to say nothing of the extent to which the war counterproductively undermined the global nonproliferation regime by convincing North Korea to go for broke in its quest for nukes. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The Weekly Standard’s demise is a reminder that there are some ideas worse than Trumpism," 5 Dec. 2018 The most controversial aspect of last night’s gameplay demo was Fallout 76’s nuke gameplay. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fallout 76 sparks more fan anxiety about direction of series," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Agent 007 and a Russian beauty foil a madman in a submarine, who is out to nuke the world. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Gibson, the author of Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive, has his own vision of what happened after Ripley, Hicks, Bishop, and Newt nuked LV-426 from orbit in Aliens. Keith Phipps, The Verge, "How William Gibson’s long-lost Alien 3 script became 2019’s most intriguing audio drama," 24 June 2019 Both are tasty enough to nuke the corner store Hostess options. Chuck Blount,, "52 Weeks of Burgers: Frontier Burger," 12 July 2019 Imagine a world where Apple made the change with the iPhone 7 to not only nuke the headphone jack, but to switch to USB-C? Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Apple has officially missed the boat on USB-C with this year’s iPhones," 14 Sep. 2018 As long as China can hit back and nuke at least a handful of American (or Russian) cities, the balance of terror remains. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Does America Still Need the Nuclear Triad?," 23 Jan. 2019 But Democrats aren't in the room on those legislative efforts and the President just nuked the lone House GOP effort that had a shot at passage. Tal Kopan, Lauren Fox And Phil Mattingly, CNN, "Trump again falsely blames the Democrats for his administration's family separations," 15 June 2018 Russia’s dreaded nuclear torpedo, designed to nuke entire coastal cities into oblivion and trigger tsunamis, has been sighted in tests at sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia’s Nuclear Tsunami Apocalypse Torpedo is Named 'Poseidon'," 24 July 2018 One of the biggest questions on Tumblr users’ minds is whether Tumblr can effectively carry out this policy without nuking everything in its path. Aja Romano, Vox, "Tumblr’s adult content ban is already harming the site’s vibrant community.," 5 Dec. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for nuke

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nuke

The first known use of nuke was in 1958

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More Definitions for nuke



English Language Learners Definition of nuke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal : a nuclear weapon



English Language Learners Definition of nuke (Entry 2 of 2)

: to attack or destroy (something) with a nuclear weapon
: to heat or cook (food) in a microwave oven

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More from Merriam-Webster on nuke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nuke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nuke

Spanish Central: Translation of nuke

Nglish: Translation of nuke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nuke for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nuke

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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