Definition of atomic in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈtämik/


1Relating to an atom or atoms: the atomic nucleus
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  • Its output of particles (electrons, protons, ions and atomic nuclei) is approximately one million tonnes per second.
  • Later, Rutherford also discovered the atomic nucleus and the proton.
  • Because of its weak interaction with atomic nuclei, the neutrino travels freely through any material object and is very difficult to observe.
1.1 Chemistry (Of a substance) consisting of uncombined atoms rather than molecules: atomic hydrogen
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  • The team has used gases such as ethanol to prevent oxidation and atomic oxygen or hydrogen to remove contamination and provide in-situ cleaning.
  • At that temperature, the gas has enough energy to excite molecular hydrogen but not atomic hydrogen.
  • It consists of atomic and molecular hydrogen, with 10 per cent of helium.
1.2Of or forming a single irreducible unit or component in a larger system: a society made up of atomic individuals pursuing private interests
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  • Iin this case it uses the atomic unit of digital life - a single screen of data on a Palm, a little brick of reality we spend so much time staring at all day long.
  • From a philosophical point of view, one has to ask whether modeling growth using atomic units (modules or cells) makes sense at all.
  • The triangle is a kind of atomic unit in geometry.
1.3Relating to, denoting, or using the energy released in nuclear fission or fusion: the atomic age required a new way of political thinking atomic weapons
More example sentences
  • It is precisely those features which are undesirable in a nuclear reactor that are vital in an atomic weapon.
  • Just as nuclear scientists concerned about lethal radioactivity oppose atomic weapons, should marine scientists campaign for an end to coal-fired power stations?
  • The centrality of atomic fission and fusion is giving way to the collection, processing, fusion, and dissemination of information.



Pronunciation: /-ik(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • It is atomically flat, hydrophilic, and, in water, negatively charged.
  • ‘If we use substrate-mediated interactions to direct the arrangement of monomers prior to chemical bonding, we may be able to build atomically precise structures,’ says Weiss.
  • The researchers use a technique called nanoscale electro-machining (nano-EM) to etch nanopores as small as 8-10 nanometers in diameter on an atomically flat gold surface.


Late 17th century: from modern Latin atomicus, from atomus 'indivisible' (see atom).

Words that rhyme with atomic

agronomic, astronomic, comic, economic, ergonomic, gastronomic, metronomic, palindromic, physiognomic, subatomic, taxonomic, tragicomic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·tom·ic

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