atomic bomb

[ uh-tom-ik bom ]
See synonyms for atomic bomb on
  1. a bomb whose potency is derived from nuclear fission of atoms of fissionable material with the consequent conversion of part of their mass into energy.

  2. a bomb whose explosive force comes from a chain reaction based on nuclear fission in U-235 or plutonium.

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of atomic bomb

First recorded in 1910–15
  • Also called fis·sion bomb [fish-uhn bom] /ˈfɪʃ ən ˌbɒm/ .
  • Also at·om bomb [at-uhm bom], /ˈæt əm ˌbɒm/, A-bomb [ey-bom] /ˈeɪˌbɒm/ .

Words Nearby atomic bomb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use atomic bomb in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for atomic bomb

atomic bomb

  1. a type of bomb in which the energy is provided by nuclear fission. Uranium-235 and plutonium-239 are the isotopes most commonly used in atomic bombs: Also called: A-bomb, fission bomb Compare fusion bomb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for atomic bomb

atomic bomb

  1. A very destructive bomb that derives its explosive power from the fission of atomic nuclei. Atomic bombs usually have plutonium 239 or uranium 235 as their fissionable material. Also called atom bomb

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for atomic bomb (1 of 2)

atomic bomb

A nuclear weapon whose enormous explosive power results from the sudden release of energy from a fission reaction. (See also Hiroshima (see also Hiroshima), hydrogen bomb, Nagasaki, and Strategic Arms Limitation Talks [SALT].)

atomic bomb

A bomb that is powered by nuclear fission, and therefore produces a quick release of energy and great destruction.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.