• Pertaining to the nucleus of an atom.
  • Involving energy released by nuclear reactions (fission, fusion, radioactive decay).
  • Relating to a weapon that derives its force from rapid release of energy through nuclear reactions.
  • Involving an extreme course of action.
  • Pertaining to the nucleus of a cell.
  • Pertaining to a centre around which something is developed or organised; central, pivotal.



  • From Latin nū̆cleus, a contraction of the adjective nuculeus, masculine of feminine nuculea from nucula + adjectival suffix -eus, -ea, -eum. The Latin nucula + -āris adds up to nuculāris, a term that in English becomes nucular; the Latin nuculea + -āris, becomes Latin nuculeāris, later contracted into nuclear. Compare muscle and Latin mūsculus; muscular and mūsculāris.

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