\ 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 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 Of course, all the nukes and jets in the world won’t protect us from the assault our enemies abroad are currently waging against us, and that Republicans resist confronting: the one on our electoral system. Catherine Rampell, The Denver Post, "Rampell: What are Republicans afraid of?," 6 Aug. 2019 The exciting thing to other young women was that Hamnett’s anti-nuke politics put her firmly amongst the rising cohort of post-punk feminism. Vogue, "The Women Designers Who Changed The Way We Dress," 14 Aug. 2019 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 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

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nuke.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 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

Comments on nuke

What made you want to look up nuke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to constrict the range or activity of

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