Definition of nuclear in US English:

nuclear

adjective

  • 1Relating to the nucleus of an atom.

    • ‘Now, you don't have to be a nuclear physicist or a military strategist to see how dangerous this is.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘First, he says, find an atom whose electronic and nuclear spins are particularly resistant to disturbance.’
    • ‘This technique is one of the most important uses of nuclear chemistry for archeologists.’
    • ‘It will argue that the network of nuclear physicists which operated inside Iraq prior to the 1990 Gulf war is still in place.’
    • ‘Its walls are made of bricks that consist of nuclear emulsions and lead sheets.’
    • ‘Every nuclear spin in the molecules stores exactly one bit of information.’
    • ‘I don't know what it has to do with nuclear chemistry either, but the money's good.’
    • ‘During our stay guests included nuclear physicists attending a conference and a sports college staff reunion.’
    • ‘An alkali vapour magnetometer is a highly sensitive magnetometer that works at the atomic rather than the nuclear level.’
    • ‘This friend, nuclear physicist Peter Buck, also lent him the $1000 to get started.’
    • ‘They are backing John Hagelin, a nuclear physicist and leader of the Natural Law Party.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hulk Hogan makes about as good an actor as Burt Reynolds would a nuclear physicist.’
    • ‘As nuclear physicist Frank Close commented, it should have been the hottest source of radiation west of Chernobyl.’
    • ‘His second discovery, the nuclear model of the atom, became the basis for how we see the atom today.’
    • ‘Born in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, she is a trained nuclear physicist.’
    • ‘The name commemorates Glen Seaborg, the eminent American nuclear physicist and Nobel prizewinner.’
    central, innermost, mid, middle, interior
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Denoting, relating to, or powered by the energy released in nuclear fission or fusion.
      ‘nuclear submarines’
      ‘nuclear energy’
      • ‘The ozone layer might be damaged by the release of nitrogen oxides from nuclear explosions.’
      • ‘The nuclear reprocessing plant at Thorp, Sellafield, is set to close by 2010.’
      • ‘Chirac, if asked, would probably think you were talking about the nuclear reprocessing plant at La Hague in Normandy.’
      • ‘The Malaysians claim they didn't know the parts were for a nuclear centrifuge.’
      • ‘During the initial nuclear radiation mostly Gamma rays are emitted from the fireball.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the US public was becoming alarmed about nuclear fallout and its consequences.’
      • ‘Not a single new nuclear reactor has been licensed since 1980.’
      • ‘The result might be a chain reaction: a self-sustaining release of nuclear energy.’
      • ‘To generate electricity, we use hydroelectric power, coal and nuclear energy.’
      • ‘If a number of countries build new nuclear reactors, how long would it last?’
      • ‘There's maybe someone in Cumbria running a small nuclear power plant in their garden shed.’
      • ‘Britain will fail to meet new European targets for disposing of radioactive waste, the nuclear industry has admitted.’
      • ‘There has been a virtual freeze on new nuclear reactors being built in Western Europe and North America.’
      • ‘An attack on a nuclear power plant or other nuclear installation could result in a massive release of radioactive material.’
      • ‘At first, the program focused mainly on the use of nuclear energy for power generation.’
      • ‘The novel isotopes produced by the nuclear industry often mimic natural substances in the body.’
      • ‘Was Heisenberg on the brink of handing over nuclear energy secrets to the Third Reich?’
      • ‘The highest priority targets remain within the aviation, petroleum and nuclear sectors.’
      • ‘There are radiation leaks from nuclear power plants or nuclear reprocessing facilities.’
      • ‘Their strategy was for the first round to rely heavily on nuclear electricity and energy efficiency.’
    2. 1.2 Denoting, possessing, or involving weapons using nuclear energy.
      ‘nuclear nations’
      ‘a nuclear bomb’
      • ‘At the time, it seemed a large nuclear strike would disrupt communications networks to the point that command and control services would collapse.’
      • ‘So the small nuclear arsenals of France and China did deter the USSR.’
      • ‘We'll look at whether this country is doing enough and spending enough to prepare for a nuclear attack.’
      • ‘None of them ever believed that they were at risk of getting into the middle of a nuclear conflagration.’
      • ‘Both countries also have a considerable nuclear capability in their Central Asian bases.’
      • ‘Imagine what the world would look like today if the Third Reich had been the first to possess a nuclear bomb.’
      • ‘Our fears about a nuclear strike traditionally include the horrific death toll, the living envying the dead, etc.’
      • ‘The general public, and even men in authority, have not realised what would be involved in a war with nuclear bombs.’
      • ‘The controversial implication is that nuclear proliferation also secures peace under parity.’
      • ‘Such isotopes, he pointed out, could have come only from a nearby nuclear reactor or a nuclear bomb.’
      • ‘What are the consequences of the free proliferation of weapons, in particular of nuclear arms?’
      • ‘The Defense Department wanted a network that could withstand a nuclear attack on the U.S.’
      • ‘Assuming nuclear use begets nuclear use, what would follow could be the next dark ages.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For all I know those scientists could have been working on nuclear warheads.’
      • ‘Personally, the thought of nuclear strikes in the Middle East, and our oil supply drying up causes me more concern.’
      • ‘It really did seem as though the world could end in a blaze of nuclear fury at any moment.’
      • ‘Trainees were drilled on how to deal with the specific threats of chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.’
      • ‘Thus far, U.S. policy has been based on the premise that nuclear proliferation is necessarily inimical to U.S. interests.’
  • 2Biology
    Relating to the nucleus of a cell.

    ‘nuclear DNA’
    • ‘PARP is a nuclear enzyme activated by DNA strand breaks induced by alkylating agents or X-rays.’
    • ‘As nuclear condensation occurs, these nuclei align at the apical end of the cyst.’
    • ‘The lining cells showed no significant nuclear pleomorphism or mitotic activity.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from nucleus + -ar.

Pronunciation

nuclear

/ˈn(j)ukliər//ˈn(y)o͞oklēər/