Definition of nuke in English:



  • 1A nuclear weapon.

    • ‘The nukes will spur Japanese deployment of ABMs and may nudge Japan toward deploying offensive forces.’
    • ‘Washington needs a strategy based on the ‘Three No's’: no loose nukes, no nascent nukes, and no new nuclear states.’
    • ‘There's lots of data available online about suitcase nukes, and nuclear weapons generally.’
    • ‘In addition to the United States and Russia, only China is believed to have a large stockpile of about 120 TNWs or ‘baby nukes.’’
    • ‘Syria has no links to al Qaeda, no weapons of mass destruction that could possibly harm the United States, no nukes or even a nuclear program.’
    • ‘It fired no nukes or chemical weapons, and posed us no danger.’
    • ‘Look, I'm no fan of how-to guides for chemical weapons or backyard nukes.’
    • ‘In 1958, the US began to deploy hundreds of nuclear warheads, atomic mines, artillery shells and air-dropped nukes in South Korea.’
    • ‘It's always seemed to me that that likeliest scenario is a loose nuke or a dirty bomb in a shipping container.’
    • ‘I can make or disable virtually any explosive except a nuke.’
    • ‘That could lead to an Asian rim armed to the teeth with nukes and other weapons.’
    • ‘What will the next mayor of London say about war, occupation, new nukes, Trident, nuclear trains?’
    • ‘Death is death whether it comes in the form of a nuke, a bomb, a plane or an envelope.’
    • ‘I assume they aren't carrying nukes - ICBMs would be the preferred delivery system in that case - so all we have are a few bombers with a few payloads of ordinary bombs.’
    • ‘In 1984, I participated in a war game featuring a Cessna rigged with a tiny nuke and flown by a suicide pilot.’
    • ‘The United States is now considering developing a new generation of nuclear weapons, smart nukes which could be used to bust open bunkers and destroy weapons of mass destruction stockpiled by rogue states.’
    • ‘It's increasingly possible now for hostile states to acquire earlier generations of missile technology in the hope of some day being able to top them with nukes or biological weapons, the report warns.’
    • ‘Statistically, you have a much greater chance of meeting your maker as a result of a traffic accident on Sukhumvit Highway than from a car bomb or terrorist nuke.’
    • ‘Tactical nukes can be launched over an unpopulated area from field artillery guns or aircraft to halt an enemy advance or in an effort to intimidate a numerically stronger enemy.’
    • ‘It is only a matter of time before a dirty bomb, a suitcase nuke, or a biological attack hits an American city.’
    1. 1.1A nuclear power station.
    2. 1.2A nuclear-powered vessel.
      • ‘The new enemy uses diesel-electric boats which, when running just on batteries, are much more difficult to find than those always loud Soviet nukes.’


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1 Attack or destroy with nuclear weapons.

    • ‘Not that I'm saying Shanghai ought to have been nuked, merely if victory was required, then it might have been necessary.’
    • ‘We talked about it in the pub with the usual cross section of people giving off views ranging from the eminently sensible to the completely barking view of nuking them all.’
    • ‘It's not a case of ‘if you're planning to nuke us, we're going to nuke you’ it's a case of ‘if we think you're going to attack us, we're going to nuke you.’’
    • ‘If it doesn't, well he can always nuke the site from orbit and claim there was a nuclear accident.’
    • ‘There was constant hysterical invocation of an absurd counterfactual scenario: ‘What if he actually was planning to nuke us in 45 minutes?’’
    • ‘After all, you can't nuke Bethlehem without Israel being exposed to nuclear fallout.’
    • ‘So, why not just use man-made nuclear energy and nuke the planet today?’
    • ‘So, if the ultimate nightmare happens, and a terrorist cell gets its hands on a black-market bomb and manages to detonate it, the US proposes to nuke some random country as revenge.’
    • ‘You'd almost think that he wanted them to nuke California or something… perhaps its because they're democrats?’
    • ‘You said ‘send conventional troops that he can only repel with his nuclear weapons, which will cause us to nuke him’.’
    • ‘Qualified though my admiration for Lady Thatcher may be, I find it hard to believe that she'd have nuked Buenos Aires just to make a point.’
    • ‘Though unlike the 1968 version, where we've nuked ourselves and devastated the planet, there's no actual evidence of that here.’
    • ‘He asks Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, who dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, how he feels when people say ‘Let's nuke 'em’.’
    • ‘Back on the beach, the rising moon looked really cool - it was orange and smokey and made it look like Melbourne had been nuked until it rose a bit higher and we could see the bottom.’
    • ‘Consider the absurdity: We risk escalating a worldwide nuclear arms race to nuke a shadow terrorist enemy whose most effective military action to date was begun with box cutters.’
    • ‘No, we didn't actually get nuked or wiped out by ebola or nerve gas; aliens didn't land on the White House lawn.’
    • ‘We might stop an attack or two by nuking every Islamic city from Tangier to Islamabad - but, come morning, we'll have to look ourselves in the mirror.’
    • ‘Why don't we try to destroy tropical cyclones by nuking them?’
    • ‘Otherwise radical moves might result in these two nations ending up nuking each other.’
    • ‘There's nothing Christian about nuking Afghan civilians, nor spying on American students; just as there is nothing Muslim about hijacking planes and flying them into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre or the Pentagon.’
    1. 1.1Destroy; get rid of.
      ‘I fertilized the lawn and nuked the weeds’
      • ‘He's disappointed at his lack of strength after nuking himself in a combination carnival ride / X-ray machine, but later when he dreams about his wife's fiery death, he's so angry that he turns into The Hulk.’
      • ‘Don't be afraid to nuke stuff that isn't interesting.’
      • ‘I have bought some more slug stoppa granules from the DIY store, which was all they had in the slug prevention line that didn't involve nuking the little b * ggers.’
      • ‘Suddenly, nuking the Powerbook and going fresh with Tiger is on my mind again.’
      • ‘So I ended up even sicker, in bed, and in between sleeping, feeling sorry for myself, and nuking the jumping spider (the exciting highlight of the weekend), I did some thinking.’
      • ‘After Valve updated the official FAQ entry with a recommendation to try out the latest beta video drivers, I gave it a try. 67.02 are the latest Detonators, so I nuked the previous set with Driver Cleaner and reinstalled.’
      • ‘‘I think I just nuked the computer's hard drive,’ I said, quivering.’
      • ‘You may have trouble finding a copy of this as Real nuked the original downloads a while back, but a bit of googling should find it.’
      • ‘Most of us are in the indifferent camp thus allowing politicians, theologians and academics to nuke the world, while producing between them, not one thing of true value.’
      • ‘I have escaped, and with the help of your suggestively named, buxom employee, I shall stop you from nuking the U.S. gold supply!’
    2. 1.2Cook or heat up (food) in a microwave oven.
      ‘I nuked a quick burger’
      • ‘After several months when her comfort level increased, I progressed to putting a Hershey bar on a salad plate and nuking it into molten goodness.’
      • ‘Anyway, that's by the by. The point is that whilst idly nuking the noodles I noticed that the sell-by date was October 2172.’
      • ‘We use technology in our cooking… we nuke stuff.’
      • ‘The house was filled with the smells of after-school snacks being nuked as we walked in.’
      • ‘If I have been working all day, it's getting late and he is hungry (which he invariably is, all day, every day) then it seems sensible rather than sadistic to nuke him a shepherd's pie in the microwave while boiling up a pot of peas and carrots.’
      • ‘The food is cooked, not nuked, and cooking takes time. The slow pace suits the service, which is charming.’
      • ‘She pushed things around the refrigerator, looking for some convenient leftovers in a Rubbermaid container to nuke.’
      • ‘It's all very tasty, all very stylish and all very cold when you buy it frozen from Sainsbury's before nuking it in the microwave before your guests arrive.’
      • ‘‘There you are, Dolly,’ I said, doing my best to avoid tripping over a foot-winding Harry while I nuked a drop of Carnation Milk.’
      • ‘You can nuke some for breakfast, or mix it with hot water for a quick vending-machine-free snack at work.’
      • ‘I got home, nuked yesterday's pizza, read the paper.’
      • ‘While waiting for the microwave to nuke our meal, w sat down on the stools in the kitchen and began to talk.’
      • ‘I really need to just shut off all the machines, nuke the leftover pizza and watch ‘Blind Date’ until my brains run out my nose.’
      • ‘We watch through our fingers as another convenience meal is nuked in the microwave, another can of fizzy pop is guzzled, another packet of crisps scoffed.’
      • ‘So I nuked a jar of Veet Warm Wax, made a little pot of rooibos tea with honey and soy milk, and set up a portable radio and portable heater in the bathroom.’
      • ‘She poured milk into a glass and put it into the microwave to nuke it.’
      • ‘In fact, you can even cook the rice, the chicken and the pepper and onion mixture in bulk, then quickly nuke them and throw this burrito together in minutes when the craving hits.’
      • ‘And the cook, Jay Jay, earns five buckets of stars for serving happy drinkers real good food, not idiotic nuked empanadas!’
      • ‘He smiled a sexy smile and unwrapped the bowl, nuking it in the microwave for about 3 minutes.’
      • ‘Unlike normal cooking, when food is nuked numerous chemical bonds are ruptured, leaving behind a trail of free radicals, ions, and other radiolytic byproducts.’


1950s: abbreviation of nuclear.