\ 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

Verb a pretty sizable piece of real estate would be nuked if an asteroid struck
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nuclear weapons are enormously difficult and expensive to develop, and a new nuke would probably take the better part of a decade—or more—to go from the drafting table to sitting in a silo or bomb bay. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What Is Trump’s New Nuclear Weapon?," 10 Sep. 2020 On the other, as a nuclear weapons expert pointed out, the listing of a hypersonic upgrade by the Nuclear Weapons Center highly suggests this new weapon would carry a nuke. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Air Force Accidentally Reveals It Wants a Hypersonic Nuke," 21 Aug. 2020 And indeed, for most people, images of a mushroom cloud rising over the horizon immediately bring to mind the detonation of a nuke. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Massive Beirut Explosion Shows Mushroom Clouds Aren't Just for Nukes," 4 Aug. 2020 As a result, the TV dinner has evolved significantly from its compartmentalized, nuke-friendly roots. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "Hot Pockets. Stouffer's Lasagna. Frozen food is hot again," 28 May 2020 For the time being, Iran is more interested in hinting at such options than dashing nuke-wards. The Economist, "Breaking the nuclear deal ratchets up the conflict between Iran and America," 28 June 2019 And somehow, after those farcical summits, Kim Jong-un still commands an arsenal of nukes. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, "The Striking Gesture," 27 Apr. 2020 Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and co-sponsor of Ms Warren’s NFU bill, has sought to cut funding for Mr Trump’s mini-nuke and to limit its deployment on submarines. The Economist, "Should America rule out first use of nuclear weapons?," 15 Aug. 2019 America needs battlefield nukes, the Trump team says, to match and deter adversaries’ tactical arsenals. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "Donald Trump Is Playing a Dangerous Game of Nuclear Poker," 1 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb My people are the ones who feel compelled to get up every twenty minutes to nuke their coffee, yet again. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "Just Give Your People Small Comforts: A 2020 Holiday Gift Guide," 11 Dec. 2020 Transfer to microwave-safe bowls and nuke it to reheat. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "This Turkey Stuffing Recipe Will Be the MVP of Your Thanksgiving Dinner," 21 Sep. 2020 Around that same time, nuking hurricanes entered the conversation. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "America's Decades-Old Obsession With Nuking Hurricanes (and More)," 26 Aug. 2019 With the Reade accusations, Trump, a polarizing candidate with low personal favorable numbers, has an opportunity to nuke some of Biden’s greatest political assets — likability, empathy, strength with female voters — and even the playing field. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Trump campaign highlighting alleged Biden sexual assault despite accusations against president," 30 Apr. 2020 Just beware: Despite all appearances, Gandhi will try to nuke you. Britton Peele, Dallas News, "Bored at home? These video games can keep you occupied while social distancing," 26 Mar. 2020 It's been more than five years since the last publicly known Iranian cyberattack on an American target, when the Sands Casino in Las Vegas was infected after its owner, Sheldon Alderson, suggested nuking Iran in a speech. NBC News, "Iran strike puts U.S. cybersecurity experts on alert," 4 Jan. 2020 The Supreme Court needs to take this case — and then nuke it into oblivion. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Frivolous Lawsuits Once Again Threaten the Gun Industry," 18 Sep. 2019 Even Bloomberg seems too scared to nuke Sanders from orbit. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Why Aren’t Democrats Issuing a Sanders Alert?," 26 Feb. 2020

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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Learn More about nuke

Statistics for nuke

Cite this Entry

“Nuke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nuke

Nglish: Translation of nuke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nuke for Arabic Speakers

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