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ˈnük How to pronounce nuke (audio)
: a nuclear weapon
: a nuclear-powered electric generating station


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nuked; nuking

transitive verb

: to attack or destroy with or as if with nuclear bombs

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
American trust in nuclear weapons In the nearly 80 years since the U.S. dropped the only two nuclear weapons ever used in war, movements to abolish or champion nukes have ebbed and flowed. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 May 2024 Set in a retro-futuristic 2296 after nuclear bombs decimated America, the Season 1 finale reveals some crucial information about who dropped the nukes and also teases at some video game Easter eggs that could appear in a future season. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 12 Apr. 2024 Russia was just another impoverished country (with nukes). Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 31 Jan. 2024 Will the military continue trying to quash the rebellion and bring out the big guns, like tactical nukes? Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 13 Apr. 2024 Russia also seems focused on building tools to disrupt the delicate house of cards that the U.S. and its allies have set up in space, with recent warnings of nukes in orbit. George Dvorsky / Gizmodo, Quartz, 7 Mar. 2024 There are nukes, alien brain locks, intergalactic warfare and a scope that keeps expanding long after the stakes seem clear. Amy Brady, Scientific American, 11 Dec. 2023 The nuclear age impacted art all over the world as humanity came to grips with the massively destructive side of science, and, in what is one of the better sci-fi films of the '50s, America's nuclear hunger led to mega-sized insects escaping the desert nuke laboratories and heading to Los Angeles. Sarah Sprague,, 19 Oct. 2023 And since North Korea has their own nukes; nukes can deter nukes. Charlie Campbell, TIME, 12 Nov. 2023
Then Meta nuked everything her website had ever published on its platforms, a block that lasted at least two hours, Kabas told CNN. Allison Morrow, CNN, 9 Apr. 2024 This shot also suggests that not all of the locations visited will be fully nuked out, too. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 5 Dec. 2023 Even before the switch-over, there was a subgenre on TikTok of people surprised to learn that they weren’t actually supposed to be nuking their cups. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2023 Also: The robots have nuked Los Angeles, leaving nearly 1 million people dead, and judging from the brief glimpse the movie provides of our fair city, finally clearing up traffic on the 405. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2023 The loss to Texas State really nuked confidence among the team and surrounding campus, so making this weekend’s game competitive would be a huge way to bounce back. Michael Haag, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2023 This question, with its exclamatory urgency, has never been more relevant to Twitter than in the past 48 hours, when Musk decided to nuke 17 years’ worth of brand awareness and rename the thing. Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic, 25 July 2023 Some analysts saw the debate on nuking a NATO country as an orchestrated bluff to escalate Western nuclear fears, but others saw it merely as hard-liners venting about Russia’s failings in the war. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 5 July 2023 If ninety per cent of Americans believe that Joe Biden should nuke Russia, does that mean that Joe Biden should nuke Russia? Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 21 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nuke.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



by shortening and respelling from nuclear


derivative of nuke entry 1

First Known Use


1958, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nuke was in 1958

Dictionary Entries Near nuke

Cite this Entry

“Nuke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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