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[nook, nyook] /nuk, nyuk/ Informal.
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, nuking.
to attack, defeat, or destroy with or as if with nuclear weapons.
Slang. to cook or bake in a microwave oven.
Origin of nuke
1945-50; by shortening and respelling Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for nuke


verb (transitive)
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
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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
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Slang definitions & phrases for nuke



A nuclear device or facility; nuclear weapon; nuclear power plant (1959+)

  1. To destroy with a nuclear weapon or weapons: The global village has been nuked (1969+)
  2. To destroy; eliminate; kill: Jesus Christ, I can nuke this guy/ Nuke this whole paragraph (1986+)
  3. To cook or heat in a microwave oven (1987+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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nuke in Technology

/n[y]ook/ 1. To intentionally delete the entire contents of a given directory or storage volume. "On Unix, "rm -r /usr" will nuke everything in the usr file system." Never used for accidental deletion. Opposite: blow away.
2. Synonym for dike, applied to smaller things such as files, features, or code sections. Often used to express a final verdict. "What do you want me to do with that 80-meg wallpaper file?" "Nuke it."
3. Used of processes as well as files; nuke is a frequent verbal alias for "kill -9" on Unix.
4. On IBM PCs, a bug that results in fandango on core can trash the operating system, including the FAT (the in-core copy of the disk block chaining information). This can utterly scramble attached disks, which are then said to have been "nuked". This term is also used of analogous lossages on Macintoshes and other micros without memory protection.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for nuke


  1. a nuclear device or weapon
  2. a nuclear-powered electric generating plant
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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