\ 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

But there is still deep skepticism over whether Kim is truly willing to negotiate away the nukes that his country has built after decades of struggle. Hyung-jin Kim,, "South Korea to remove propaganda loudspeakers at border," 30 Apr. 2018 Launching nukes isn’t as easy as finding a silo and pressing a button; there are changing codes distributed in pieces throughout the area. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess," 28 Nov. 2018 But Moon faces tougher challenges heading into his third meeting with Kim with the stalemate in nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington raising fundamental questions about Kim’s supposed willingness to abandon his nukes. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "South Korean envoys leave for North Korea to set up summit," 4 Sep. 2018 Oil drillers who need to blow up an asteroid with a nuke. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "The 10 best journalism movies (including Steven Spielberg's 'The Post'), ranked," 11 Jan. 2018 In September 2017, Pyongyang tested a nuke there that was around seven times stronger than the bomb America dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Alex Ward, Vox, "Why North Korea’s latest nuclear concession isn’t one at all," 8 Oct. 2018 During a quarter-century of on-off negotiations, human rights have played second fiddle for U.S. administrations seeking to ameliorate the threat posed by the North’s nukes, and there’s a reason. Washington Post, "At Trump-Kim summit, human rights is a back-burner issue," 13 June 2018 Add up the consequences of Mr. Putin’s troops, nukes, disinformation campaigns, financial aid to populist parties—and throw in the power of his authoritarian example. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Putin Is Weak. Europe Doesn’t Have to Be," 23 July 2018 That’s a decrease of 350 nukes, or about a warhead a day. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. and Russia Are Shrinking Their Nuclear Arsenals—But China Isn't," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The Prinz Eugen capsized in 1946 after being nuked—twice—during the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How the U.S. Is Recovering Oil from a Nuked Warship," 17 Sep. 2018 Or, what would prevent talented players from hustling the system by nuking their game profile before placing a series of big bets? Jake Seiner, The Seattle Times, "Esports integrity chief concerned about Fortnite gambling," 21 Nov. 2018 Those moves were unthinkable even several months ago, when the two unpredictable leaders threatened to nuke each other and traded a series of harsh personal insults. Washington Post, "Trump-Kim summit raises new questions over South Korean role," 14 June 2018 Those moves were unthinkable even several months ago, when the two unpredictable leaders threatened to nuke each other and traded a series of harsh personal insults. Washington Post, "Trump-Kim summit raises new questions over South Korean role," 14 June 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

4 Apr 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

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


an act or instance of returning to life

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