su·​per·​crit·​i·​cal | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈkri-ti-kəl How to pronounce supercritical (audio) \

Definition of supercritical

: being or having a temperature above a critical temperature supercritical fluid

Examples of supercritical in a Sentence

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The supercritical water reactor effort, called PWAC-109, was built with development assistance from Battelle and entered testing in 1954. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Best bad idea ever? Why Putin’s nuclear-powered missile is possible… and awful," 22 Mar. 2018 In the half-second that the dome was closed, the plutonium had gone supercritical, initiating a nuclear chain reaction and releasing a lethal dose of gamma rays that damaged Slotin’s cells beyond repair. Julian G. West, The Atlantic, "The Atomic-Bomb Core That Escaped World War II," 2 Apr. 2018 At CANEL, Pratt & Whitney also experimented with systems based on other coolants, including supercritical water (in which the water/steam is kept at extremely high pressures that force it to remain a fluid), sodium, and lithium. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Best bad idea ever? Why Putin’s nuclear-powered missile is possible… and awful," 22 Mar. 2018 The questions covered a wide swath of material, from the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution (physics), supercritical water (chemistry), dendritic drainage patterns (geomorphology) to prime factors (mathematics). Silvia Foster-frau, San Antonio Express-News, "BASIS middle school and Reagan High teams to compete in National Science Bowl," 10 Feb. 2018 If there was ever a need to rein in the supercritical hysteria that the websites of the New York Times and the Washington Post and MSNBC on-air feed when their competitive dander is up, Tuesday showed it. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "On Don Jr., the Media Can’t Help Itself," 14 July 2017 The deeper developers dig to reach supercritical temperatures, the more expensive the project becomes. Justin Worland/reykjavik, Time, "A Solution to Our Clean Energy Problem May Lie Right Beneath Our Feet," 25 July 2017 This makes a supercritical CO2 generator 30 percent more efficient at converting energy into electricity, Irwin writes in his paper. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Want Efficient Energy? Try Carbon Dioxide-Powered Turbines," 26 May 2017 The vibrant greenery — sticks and stems included — will be macerated and put into steel vats, their essence drained with something like supercritical carbon dioxide. Chris Goldstein,, "Pa.'s medical cannabis law legalized only the priciest treatments," 6 July 2017

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

1934, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of supercritical was in 1934

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