\ 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

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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 There are some 2,000 American troops in Turkey, and nuclear warheads as well — American nukes, about 50 of them, at Incirlik Air Base. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Turkey, NATO, and a Shifting World," 7 Nov. 2019 China’s stockpile of nukes remains small—under 300 warheads, compared with America’s 4,000. The Economist, "To mark 70 years of Communist rule, China shows off new weapons," 3 Oct. 2019 Fast Fact: 80 That's the number of nukes the US would need to deploy per year to combat hurricanes in the Atlantic. Lydia Horne, WIRED, "China Trade Spillover, LA’s Pollution by Block, and More News," 26 Aug. 2019 Before the end, 100 Indian nukes hit cities in Pakistan, while 150 Pakistani airburst attacks hit cities in India. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Misery of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan would be global," 4 Oct. 2019 Even for Donald Trump, launching 80 nukes a year seems extreme. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "America's Decades-Old Obsession With Nuking Hurricanes (and More)," 26 Aug. 2019 Iran had agreed to keep its uranium enrichment threshold below 3.67% (enough to provide power to parts of the country, but not enough to build a nuke) in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things to know for July 8: Women's World Cup, Iran, California earthquakes," 8 July 2019 The tangled history of nukes and space is again resurfacing, just up the road from the Redstone test stand. Wired, "NASA Wants to Send Nuclear Rockets to the Moon and Mars," 27 Sep. 2019 Put another way, the heat released by a hurricane is comparable to exploding a 10-megaton nuke every 20 minutes. Madeleine Stone, National Geographic, "Beyond nukes: how scientists dream of killing hurricanes," 27 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Google investigated and found the Mini's top touch panel was defective, and Google's response was to nuke it from orbit and disable the top touch panel on all Google Home Minis forever. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Meet the sequel to the Google Home Mini, the $50 Google Nest Mini," 15 Oct. 2019 That effectively nuked Juul's expansion prospects in the country, which has the second-largest population of smokers after China. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Is Altria's $13 billion investment in Juul going up in smoke?," 23 Sep. 2019 Biologists have captured and moved sea otters many times, once to save the animals from being nuked. Anchorage Daily News, "Raccoons, wild pigs and other bad ideas for Alaska," 28 Sep. 2019 The researchers disputed Google's claim that nuking tracking cookies would undermine the economic foundation of the online advertising industry. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google defends tracking cookies—some experts aren’t buying it," 26 Aug. 2019 And this being Twitter, parody accounts joined in and muddied the waters before they were ultimately nuked. Dustin Kurtz, The New Republic, "Why Amazon’s Twitter Ambassadors Are So Sad," 16 Aug. 2019 The odiferousness of fish, for example, is entirely excusable, but nuking it in an environment that will turn it to rubber? Jacob Brogan,, "Go ahead and microwave fish, and other office lunch etiquette you should ignore," 27 Aug. 2019 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

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

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nuke.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for nuke


How to pronounce nuke (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nuke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nuke

Spanish Central: Translation of nuke

Nglish: Translation of nuke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nuke for Arabic Speakers

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a period of high artistic development

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