[ nook, nyook ]
/ nuk, nyuk /


a nuclear or thermonuclear weapon.
a nuclear power plant or nuclear reactor.
nuclear energy: to convert from coal to nuke.


of or relating to a nuclear or thermonuclear weapon or to a nuclear plant.

verb (used with object), nuked, nuk·ing.

to attack, defeat, or destroy with or as if with nuclear weapons.
Slang. to cook or bake in a microwave oven.

Nearby words

  1. nuisance,
  2. nuisance ground,
  3. nuisance tax,
  4. nuits-saint-georges,
  5. nuj,
  6. nukes,
  7. nukespeak,
  8. nuku'alofa,
  9. nukualofa,
  10. nukus

Origin of nuke

First recorded in 1945–50; by shortening and respelling Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nuke

British Dictionary definitions for nuke


/ (njuːk) slang /

verb (tr)

to attack or destroy with nuclear weapons


a nuclear bomb
a military strike with nuclear weapons
nuclear power
mainly US a nuclear power plant
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

Word Origin and History for nuke



short for nuclear weapon, 1959, U.S. military slang (see nuclear). The verb is attested from 1962; the slang sense of "to cook in a microwave oven" is from 1987. Related: Nuked; nuking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper