Definition of nuclear in English:



  • 1Relating to the nucleus of an atom.

    ‘nuclear chemistry’
    • ‘During our stay guests included nuclear physicists attending a conference and a sports college staff reunion.’
    • ‘As nuclear physicist Frank Close commented, it should have been the hottest source of radiation west of Chernobyl.’
    • ‘Every nuclear spin in the molecules stores exactly one bit of information.’
    • ‘They are backing John Hagelin, a nuclear physicist and leader of the Natural Law Party.’
    • ‘This friend, nuclear physicist Peter Buck, also lent him the $1000 to get started.’
    • ‘Born in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, she is a trained nuclear physicist.’
    • ‘I don't know what it has to do with nuclear chemistry either, but the money's good.’
    • ‘His second discovery, the nuclear model of the atom, became the basis for how we see the atom today.’
    • ‘Now, you don't have to be a nuclear physicist or a military strategist to see how dangerous this is.’
    • ‘It will argue that the network of nuclear physicists which operated inside Iraq prior to the 1990 Gulf war is still in place.’
    • ‘Think of the power of man which is lodged in control of the principles of nuclear microphysics.’
    • ‘The trouble was that Glenn Seaborg was still alive, though no longer really active in nuclear chemistry.’
    • ‘He was thus in between the primordial hydrogen hypothesis of William Prout and the nuclear atoms of Ernest Rutherford.’
    • ‘The resulting nuclear shockwave could very well have caused the volcano to erupt.’
    • ‘Its walls are made of bricks that consist of nuclear emulsions and lead sheets.’
    • ‘This technique is one of the most important uses of nuclear chemistry for archeologists.’
    • ‘First, he says, find an atom whose electronic and nuclear spins are particularly resistant to disturbance.’
    • ‘The name commemorates Glen Seaborg, the eminent American nuclear physicist and Nobel prizewinner.’
    • ‘Hulk Hogan makes about as good an actor as Burt Reynolds would a nuclear physicist.’
    • ‘An alkali vapour magnetometer is a highly sensitive magnetometer that works at the atomic rather than the nuclear level.’
    central, innermost, mid, middle, interior, nuclear
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    1. 1.1Denoting, relating to, or powered by the energy released in nuclear fission or fusion.
      ‘nuclear submarines’
      • ‘The novel isotopes produced by the nuclear industry often mimic natural substances in the body.’
      • ‘The highest priority targets remain within the aviation, petroleum and nuclear sectors.’
      • ‘Chirac, if asked, would probably think you were talking about the nuclear reprocessing plant at La Hague in Normandy.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the US public was becoming alarmed about nuclear fallout and its consequences.’
      • ‘The result might be a chain reaction: a self-sustaining release of nuclear energy.’
      • ‘At first, the program focused mainly on the use of nuclear energy for power generation.’
      • ‘During the initial nuclear radiation mostly Gamma rays are emitted from the fireball.’
      • ‘The Malaysians claim they didn't know the parts were for a nuclear centrifuge.’
      • ‘There has been a virtual freeze on new nuclear reactors being built in Western Europe and North America.’
      • ‘The nuclear reprocessing plant at Thorp, Sellafield, is set to close by 2010.’
      • ‘Their strategy was for the first round to rely heavily on nuclear electricity and energy efficiency.’
      • ‘The ozone layer might be damaged by the release of nitrogen oxides from nuclear explosions.’
      • ‘To generate electricity, we use hydroelectric power, coal and nuclear energy.’
      • ‘An attack on a nuclear power plant or other nuclear installation could result in a massive release of radioactive material.’
      • ‘There's maybe someone in Cumbria running a small nuclear power plant in their garden shed.’
      • ‘If a number of countries build new nuclear reactors, how long would it last?’
      • ‘Was Heisenberg on the brink of handing over nuclear energy secrets to the Third Reich?’
      • ‘Not a single new nuclear reactor has been licensed since 1980.’
      • ‘Britain will fail to meet new European targets for disposing of radioactive waste, the nuclear industry has admitted.’
      • ‘There are radiation leaks from nuclear power plants or nuclear reprocessing facilities.’
    2. 1.2Denoting, possessing, or involving weapons using nuclear energy.
      ‘nuclear warheads’
      ‘a nuclear attack’
      • ‘For all I know those scientists could have been working on nuclear warheads.’
      • ‘We'll look at whether this country is doing enough and spending enough to prepare for a nuclear attack.’
      • ‘Such isotopes, he pointed out, could have come only from a nearby nuclear reactor or a nuclear bomb.’
      • ‘It really did seem as though the world could end in a blaze of nuclear fury at any moment.’
      • ‘So the small nuclear arsenals of France and China did deter the USSR.’
      • ‘Personally, the thought of nuclear strikes in the Middle East, and our oil supply drying up causes me more concern.’
      • ‘Imagine what the world would look like today if the Third Reich had been the first to possess a nuclear bomb.’
      • ‘The controversial implication is that nuclear proliferation also secures peace under parity.’
      • ‘Thus far, U.S. policy has been based on the premise that nuclear proliferation is necessarily inimical to U.S. interests.’
      • ‘Our fears about a nuclear strike traditionally include the horrific death toll, the living envying the dead, etc.’
      • ‘Assuming nuclear use begets nuclear use, what would follow could be the next dark ages.’
      • ‘At the time, it seemed a large nuclear strike would disrupt communications networks to the point that command and control services would collapse.’
      • ‘In strategic terms, the most valuable kind of nuclear warhead is that launched from a submarine, as they are the hardest to locate and destroy before they're launched at you.’
      • ‘The Defense Department wanted a network that could withstand a nuclear attack on the U.S.’
      • ‘The general public, and even men in authority, have not realised what would be involved in a war with nuclear bombs.’
      • ‘What are the consequences of the free proliferation of weapons, in particular of nuclear arms?’
      • ‘Both countries also have a considerable nuclear capability in their Central Asian bases.’
      • ‘Trainees were drilled on how to deal with the specific threats of chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.’
      • ‘None of them ever believed that they were at risk of getting into the middle of a nuclear conflagration.’
  • 2Biology
    Relating to the nucleus of a cell.

    ‘nuclear DNA’
    • ‘As nuclear condensation occurs, these nuclei align at the apical end of the cyst.’
    • ‘PARP is a nuclear enzyme activated by DNA strand breaks induced by alkylating agents or X-rays.’
    • ‘Asterisks denote a high level of expression in the inner nuclear layer at this time.’
    • ‘Centrosomes also mediate nuclear migrations in a variety of cells and organisms.’
    • ‘The lining cells showed no significant nuclear pleomorphism or mitotic activity.’


Mid 19th century: from nucleus + -ar.