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(1)   Constituting or like a nucleus
"Annexation of the suburban fringe by the nuclear metropolis"
"The nuclear core of the congregation"
(2)   (weapons) deriving destructive energy from the release of atomic energy
"Nuclear war"
"Nuclear weapons"
"Atomic bombs"
(3)   Of or relating to or constituting the nucleus of an atom
"Nuclear physics"
"Nuclear fission"
"Nuclear forces"
(4)   Of or relating to or constituting the nucleus of a cell
"Nuclear membrane"
"Nuclear division"


  1. Involving atomic energy.
    a nuclear reactor
  2. Involving atomic or hydrogen bombs.
    a nuclear explosion
  3. Relating to nuclei, especially atomic or cellular ones.
    nuclear magnetic resonance
    The nuclear structure of the cell replicates during mitosis.
  4. Relating to the core family structure of parents and children.
    The nuclear family has been the subject of many learned discussions.

Dictionary notes

The pronunciation /nukjəlɚ/ is attested by Merriam-Webster (Online 10th Edition).