Definition of nuclear in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈn(y)o͞oklēər/


1Relating to the nucleus of an atom.
Example sentences
  • He was thus in between the primordial hydrogen hypothesis of William Prout and the nuclear atoms of Ernest Rutherford.
  • This technique is one of the most important uses of nuclear chemistry for archeologists.
  • The trouble was that Glenn Seaborg was still alive, though no longer really active in nuclear chemistry.
1.1Denoting, relating to, or powered by the energy released in nuclear fission or fusion: nuclear energy nuclear submarines
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • At first, the program focused mainly on the use of nuclear energy for power generation.
1.2Denoting, possessing, or involving weapons using nuclear energy: a nuclear bomb nuclear nations
More example sentences
  • Imagine what the world would look like today if the Third Reich had been the first to possess a nuclear bomb.
  • The general public, and even men in authority, have not realised what would be involved in a war with nuclear bombs.
  • So the small nuclear arsenals of France and China did deter the USSR.
2 Biology Relating to the nucleus of a cell: nuclear DNA
More example sentences
  • The lining cells showed no significant nuclear pleomorphism or mitotic activity.
  • Centrosomes also mediate nuclear migrations in a variety of cells and organisms.
  • As nuclear condensation occurs, these nuclei align at the apical end of the cyst.


Mid 19th century: from nucleus + -ar1.

Words that rhyme with nuclear

sub-nuclear, thermonuclear

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nu·cle·ar

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