[ chur-noh-buhl; Russian chyir-naw-bil ]

  1. a city in northern Ukraine, 80 miles (129 km) northwest of Kyiv: nuclear-plant accident 1986.

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  • Ukrainian Chor·no·byl .

Words Nearby Chernobyl Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Chernobyl in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Chernobyl


/ (tʃɜːˈnəʊbəl, -ˈnɒbəl) /

  1. a town in N Ukraine; site of a nuclear power station accident in 1986

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

Cultural definitions for Chernobyl


[ (chuhr-noh-buhl, cher-noh-buhl) ]

A place in Ukraine where a nuclear power plant — a generator powered by a nuclear reactor — underwent a meltdown in 1986. A cloud of radioactive gases spread throughout the region of Chernobyl and to foreign countries as well. Forty thousand people living nearby were evacuated. Dozens of deaths and hundreds of illnesses were reported to have been caused by the accident. (Compare Three Mile Island (see also Three Mile Island).)

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.