sub·​atom·​ic | \ ˌsəb-ə-ˈtä-mik How to pronounce subatomic (audio) \

Definition of subatomic

1 : of or relating to the inside of the atom
2 : of, relating to, or being particles smaller than atoms

Examples of subatomic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Light axions looking for enlightenment The version of dark matter that is the focus of this work is a hypothetical subatomic particle known as the axion. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Pulsars could convert dark matter into something we could see," 20 Dec. 2018 Scientists discovered in 1912 that subatomic particles — the building blocks of matter, such as protons, electrons, muons, neutrinos, and quarks — hit the Earth every day. Brian Resnick, Vox, "10 science stories in 2018 that made us go, “Whoa, that’s awesome”," 18 Dec. 2018 Isotopes such as iron-60 are telltale signs of exploding star events, as are subatomic particles called muons, which form when cosmic radiation interacts with the atmosphere. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Exploding Stars Might Have Brought an End to the Prehistoric Megalodon," 14 Dec. 2018 It's linked to the notion that a subatomic particle is in a superposition of all possible states at once, described by an equation called the wave function, until some kind of measurement is made. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "At last! Marvel finally drops first trailer for Avengers: Endgame," 7 Dec. 2018 It’ll be taken apart and thoroughly scanned to understand how the harsh conditions of space — unpredictable levels of radiation, subatomic particles, and unstable power — can affect a commercial off-the-shelf computer. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "A supercomputer on the ISS will soon be open for science experiments," 1 Nov. 2018 Then Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg gave us quantum mechanics — and a fresh understanding of the subatomic world. Dan Falk /, NBC News, "Why some scientists say physics has gone off the rails," 2 June 2018 First stop: a back-in-time reminder of Ant-Man's powers, and a refresher on the first film's subatomic drama. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Ant-Man and the Wasp review: Even smaller scale, even bigger heart," 6 July 2018 The light arose from the collision between a remarkably energetic neutrino – a wraithlike subatomic particle moving close to the speed of light – and the nucleus of a hydrogen or oxygen atom deep within the ice. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "Neutrino demonstration heralds a new way of observing the cosmos," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subatomic.' 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 subatomic

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of subatomic was in 1874

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More Definitions for subatomic



English Language Learners Definition of subatomic

: smaller than an atom
: of or relating to the inside of an atom


sub·​atom·​ic | \ ˌsəb-ə-ˈtäm-ik How to pronounce subatomic (audio) \

Medical Definition of subatomic

1 : of or relating to the inside of the atom
2 : of, relating to, or being particles smaller than atoms

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subatomic

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an enemy or opponent

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