- of, concerned with, or involving the nucleus of an atom: nuclear fission
- of, relating to, or contained within the nucleus of a cell: a nuclear membrane
- of, relating to, forming, or resembling any other kind of nucleus
- of, concerned with, or operated by energy from fission or fusion of atomic nuclei: a nuclear weapon
- involving, concerned with, or possessing nuclear weapons: nuclear war, a nuclear strike
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- relating to or involving atomic weapons:a nuclear war.
- Energyoperated or powered by atomic energy:a nuclear power plant; a nuclear submarine.
- of, relating to, or forming a nucleus:[before a noun]nuclear particles.
- pertaining to or involving atomic weapons:nuclear war.
- Energyoperated or powered by atomic energy:a nuclear submarine.
- (of a nation or group of nations) having atomic weapons.
- of, pertaining to, or forming a nucleus.
- of, pertaining to, or like the nuclear family:nuclear bonds.
- Energy, Informal Termsnuclear energy:switching to nuclear as a power source.
- compare French nucléaire 1840–50; nucle(us) + -ar1
- In pronouncing nuclear, the second and third syllables are most commonly said as
(-klē ər),USA pronunciation a sequence of sounds that directly reflects the spelled sequence -cle•ar. In recent years, a somewhat controversial pronunciation has come to public attention, with these two final syllables said as
(-kyə lər).USA pronunciation Since
(-klē ər),USA pronunciation the common pronunciation of -cle•ar, might also be represented, broadly, as
(-klə yər),USA pronunciation the
(-kyə lər)USA pronunciation pronunciation can be seen as coming from a process of metathesis, in which the
(l)USA pronunciation and the
(y)USA pronunciation change places. The resulting pronunciation is reinforced by analogy with such words as molecular, particular, and muscular, and although it occurs with some frequency among highly educated speakers, including scientists, professors, and government officials, it is disapproved of by many.