Share this entry
China syndrome Line breaks: China syn|drome

Definition of China syndrome in English:


[in singular]
A hypothetical sequence of events following the meltdown of a nuclear reactor, in which the core melts through its containment structure and deep into the earth.
Example sentences
  • It'll be like the China syndrome, but reversed.
  • It may have something to do with the China syndrome.
  • Hedge funds are derivatives on steroids, and the near collapse of one hedge fund nearly caused the financial equivalent of ‘the China syndrome.’


1970s: from China (as being on the opposite side of the earth from a reactor in the US).

Definition of China syndrome in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources