Definitions for nuclearˈnu kli ər, ˈnyu-; by metathesis -kyə lər; -kli ər; -klə yər; -kyə lər

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word nuclear

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

nu•cle•ar*ˈnu kli ər, ˈnyu-; by metathesis -kyə lər; -kli ər; -klə yər; -kyə lər(adj.)

  1. pertaining to or involving atomic weapons.

  2. powered by atomic energy.

    Category: Energy

  3. having atomic weapons:

    a nuclear submarine.

  4. of or forming a nucleus:

    nuclear particles.

* Pron: The second and third syllables of nu•cle•ar are commonly pronounced aswhich can be transcribed more broadly asThe somewhat controversial pronunciation of these two syllables asprominent in recent years, results from a process of metathesis in which the sounds (l) and (y) change places. This pronunciation, reinforced by analogy with words like molecular, is disapproved of by many, although it occurs among such highly educated speakers as scientists, professors, and government officials.

Origin of nuclear:

1840–50; cf. F nucléaire

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nuclear, atomic(adj)

    (weapons) deriving destructive energy from the release of atomic energy

    "nuclear war"; "nuclear weapons"; "atomic bombs"

  2. nuclear(adj)

    of or relating to or constituting the nucleus of an atom

    "nuclear physics"; "nuclear fission"; "nuclear forces"

  3. nuclear(adj)

    of or relating to or constituting the nucleus of a cell

    "nuclear membrane"; "nuclear division"

  4. nuclear(adj)

    constituting or like a nucleus

    "annexation of the suburban fringe by the nuclear metropolis"; "the nuclear core of the congregation"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. nuclear(adjective)ˈnu kli ər, ˈnyu-; by metathesis -kyə lər

    using the process of splitting atoms to release energy

    a nuclear bomb/device/weapon; electricity from nuclear energy

  2. nuclearˈnu kli ər, ˈnyu-; by metathesis -kyə lər

    relating to the center (nucleus) of an atom or a cell

    nuclear physics; nuclear biology


  1. nuclear(Adjective)

    Pertaining to the nucleus of a cell.

  2. nuclear(Adjective)

    Pertaining to a centre around which something is developed or organised; central, pivotal.

  3. nuclear(Adjective)

    Pertaining to the atomic nucleus.

  4. nuclear(Adjective)

    Involving atomic energy.

    a nuclear reactor

  5. nuclear(Adjective)

    Of a weapon: deriving its force from rapid release of atomic energy.

    a nuclear explosion

Webster Dictionary

  1. Nuclear(adj)

    of or pertaining to a nucleus; as, the nuclear spindle (see Illust. of Karyokinesis) or the nuclear fibrils of a cell; the nuclear part of a comet, etc

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'nuclear' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1223

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'nuclear' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2976

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'nuclear' in Adjectives Frequency: #151

Anagrams of nuclear

  1. Unclear

Translations for nuclear

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


using atomic energy

a nuclear power station; nuclear weapons.

Get even more translations for nuclear »


Find a translation for the nuclear definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these nuclear definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"nuclear." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for nuclear?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for nuclear: