- The definition of nuclear is relating to the nucleus of a cell, or relating to atomic or hydrogen bombs.
- An example of nuclear used as an adjective is the phrase "nuclear energy" which means energy that comes from the nucleus of a cell.
- An example of nuclear used as an adjective is the phrase "nuclear bomb" which means an atomic bomb.
- of, like or forming a nucleus
- of or relating to atomic nuclei: nuclear energy
- of, characterized by, or operated by the use of nuclear energy: nuclear weapons
- of, having, or involving nuclear weapons: nuclear warfare
- Biology Of, relating to, or forming a nucleus of a cell: a nuclear membrane.
- Physics a. Of or relating to atomic nuclei: a nuclear chain reaction.b. Using or derived from the energy of atomic nuclei: nuclear power.
- Of, using, or possessing atomic or hydrogen bombs: nuclear war; nuclear nations.
- Drastic or extreme; radical: “The Senate majority leader &ellipsis; had vowed to invoke what some have called the nuclear option to do away with judicial filibusters” (Carl Hulse).
Origin of nuclearFrom nucleus. Usage Note: The pronunciation (n&oomac;′ky&schwa;-l&schwa;r), which is generally considered incorrect, is an example of how a familiar phonological pattern can influence an unfamiliar one. The usual pronunciation of the final two syllables of this word is (-klē-&schwa;r), but this sequence of sounds is rare in English. Much more common is the similar sequence (-ky&schwa;-l&schwa;r), which occurs in words like particular, circular, spectacular, and in many scientific words like molecular, ocular, and vascular. Adjusted to fit into this familiar pattern, the (-ky&schwa;-l&schwa;r) pronunciation is often heard in high places. It is not uncommon in the military in association with nuclear weaponry, and it has been observed in the speech of US presidents, including Dwight D. Eisenhower and George W. Bush. The prominence of these speakers, however, has done little to brighten the appeal of (n&oomac;′ky&schwa;-l&schwa;r), which was considered acceptable to only 10 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2004 survey.
- (biology) Pertaining to the nucleus of a cell. [from 19th c.]
- Pertaining to a centre around which something is developed or organised; central, pivotal. [from 19th c.]
- Pertaining to the atomic nucleus. [from 20th c.]
- Involving atomic energy. [from 20th c.]
- a nuclear reactor
- Of a weapon: deriving its force from rapid release of atomic energy. [from 20th c.]
- a nuclear explosion
- The pronunciation /nukjəlɚ/ is perhaps nonstandard; however, it is listed in Merriam-Webster (Online 10th Edition). See also nucular. However, this pronunciation is limited to the sense of atomic energy; for example, nuclear family is not pronounced *nucular family.