subcritical

adjective
sub·​crit·​i·​cal | \ ˌsəb-ˈkri-ti-kəl How to pronounce subcritical (audio) \

Definition of subcritical

1 : less or lower than critical in respect to a specified factor
2a : of insufficient size to sustain a chain reaction a subcritical mass of fissionable material
b : designed for use with fissionable material of subcritical mass a subcritical reactor

Examples of subcritical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If the brain were extremely subcritical, according to Beggs, incoming signals would get damped and have no impact. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "Brains May Teeter Near Their Tipping Point," 14 June 2018 Priesemann suggests that the brain is slightly subcritical. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "Brains May Teeter Near Their Tipping Point," 14 June 2018 Similarly, Viola Priesemann of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Gottingen has argued that the brain operates in a slightly subcritical zone. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Rat brains provide even more evidence our brains operate near tipping point," 7 June 2019 These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "Trump welcomes N. Korea plan to blow up nuke-site tunnels," 13 May 2018 These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "Trump welcomes N. Korea plan to blow up nuke-site tunnels," 13 May 2018 These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "Trump welcomes N. Korea plan to blow up nuke-site tunnels," 13 May 2018 These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "Trump welcomes N. Korea plan to blow up nuke-site tunnels," 13 May 2018 These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "Trump welcomes N. Korea plan to blow up nuke-site tunnels," 13 May 2018

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

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of subcritical was in 1823

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Cite this Entry

“Subcritical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subcritical. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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