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 Although gravity prevents the occurrence of large objects in two places simultaneously, subatomic particles can exist at opposite ends of the universe at the same time. Usman T. Malik, Wired, "The Future of Work: ‘Beyond These Stars Other Tribulations of Love,’ by Usman T. Malik," 11 Dec. 2020 But so far, most businesses have only run proof-of-concept projects on these machines, which are not yet powerful enough to simulate many complex systems, such as the modeling of subatomic or molecular level interactions. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "U.K. startup’s breakthrough could aid quantum computers in the hunt for exotic materials," 10 Dec. 2020 Enter neutrinos, which are lightweight, neutral subatomic particles that can pass through matter almost without any evidence. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The Sun Is Experiencing a Second Fusion," 1 Dec. 2020 Following earlier experiments in the United States by Raymond Davis Jr., one of two other Nobel winners in physics in 2002, Dr. Koshiba built giant underground chambers to detect neutrinos, elusive subatomic particles that stream from the sun. Washington Post, "Masatoshi Koshiba, scientist who shared 2002 Nobel Prize in physics, dies at 94," 14 Nov. 2020 These nuances call to mind the peculiarities of quantum mechanics, where conducting a measurement on a subatomic particle influences the result. Fedor Kossakovski, National Geographic, "Why some people are superspreaders and how the body emits coronavirus," 27 Oct. 2020 The black hole is still enormous at that point — certainly nowhere near the subatomic size at which any putative exotic effects would show up. Quanta Magazine, "The Most Famous Paradox in Physics Nears its End," 29 Oct. 2020 How to Find a Higgs To create a Higgs boson from scratch, physicists smash particles together like a subatomic car crash test. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "Higgs Boson Gives Next-Generation Particle Its Heft," 6 Aug. 2020 The cosmic rays are mostly in the form of neutrons, which are large and heavy (as far as subatomic particles go). Rebecca Boyle, Scientific American, "Can a Moon Base be Safe for Astronauts?," 22 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for subatomic

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The first known use of subatomic was in 1874

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Statistics for subatomic

Last Updated

14 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subatomic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for subatomic


How to pronounce subatomic (audio)

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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