thermonuclear

adjective
ther·mo·nu·cle·ar | \ˌthər-mō-ˈnü-klē-ər, -ˈnyü-, nonstandard -ˈn(y)ü-kyə-lər \

Definition of thermonuclear 

1 : of, relating to, or employing transformations in the nuclei of atoms of low atomic weight (such as hydrogen) that require a very high temperature for their inception (as in the hydrogen bomb or in the sun) thermonuclear reaction thermonuclear weapon

2 : of, utilizing, or relating to a thermonuclear bomb thermonuclear war a thermonuclear attack

Examples of thermonuclear in a Sentence

Hydrogen bombs are thermonuclear weapons.

Recent Examples on the Web

That a global audience from Washington to Pyongyang and beyond was agape at such a once inconceivable tete-a-tete in the wake of threats of thermonuclear war and scathing personal insults, is not in doubt. Washington Post, "Summit Day: What happened at historic Trump-Kim meeting?," 12 June 2018 North Korea spent decades developing nuclear weapons, culminating in the test of a thermonuclear device in 2017. Author: Steve Holland, Jack Kim, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump and North Korea’s Kim arrive in Singapore for historic summit," 10 June 2018 The North made rapid strides in its offensive capabilities last year, testing not only its first thermonuclear device but its first ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental United States. Matt Stiles, latimes.com, "Just before summit was called off, North Korea announced demolition of its nuclear test site," 24 May 2018 The same ingenuity that allowed humans to hit home runs with evolution’s curveballs has arguably created the risk of environmental destruction, resource exhaustion, anthropogenic climate change and thermonuclear war. Nathan H. Lents, WSJ, "The Botch of the Human Body," 13 Apr. 2018 Anything with a higher yield has to be either a boosted or a thermonuclear device. Andrew Karam, Popular Mechanics, "Nuclear Forensics: How Scientists Can Tell Whether North Korea Is Lying About Its Bomb Test," 7 Jan. 2016 The North's arsenal now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching mainland U.S. cities. Christopher Bodeen And Hyung-jin Kim, chicagotribune.com, "Top North Korean official heads to U.S. for pre-summit talks," 30 May 2018 The North’s arsenal now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching mainland U.S. cities. Christopher Bodeen And Hyung-jin Kim, USA TODAY, "Top North Korean official heads to U.S. for pre-summit talks," 30 May 2018 The North’s arsenal now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching mainland U.S. cities. Washington Post, "Top North Korean official heads to US for pre-summit talks," 30 May 2018

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

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for thermonuclear

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Last Updated

23 Aug 2018

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The first known use of thermonuclear was in 1938

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More Definitions for thermonuclear

thermonuclear

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of thermonuclear

: of or relating to the changes in the nucleus of atoms that happen at extremely high temperatures

More from Merriam-Webster on thermonuclear

Nglish: Translation of thermonuclear for Spanish Speakers

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