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nuclear winter

the general devastation of life, along with worldwide darkness and extreme cold, that some scientists believe would result from a global dust cloud screening out sunlight following large-scale nuclear detonations.
Origin of nuclear winter
1980-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nuclear winter
  • As if there weren't enough reasons to for the world to get rid of nuclear weapons, here's another one: nuclear winter.
  • nuclear winter was over, but global warming was here, and the ideological categories got thoroughly scrambled.
  • The sky turned a blackish purple, as if the city were enduring a nuclear winter.
  • The nuclear winter fear was that debris from a nuclear war would block sunlight, bringing on a new ice age or worse.
  • If life is measured by what makes news, we're stuck in nuclear winter.
  • We're back to a nuclear winter, a season that tends to arrive in the bread basket of innovation every four years or so.
  • Thankfully, nuclear winter isn't going to befall us quite yet.
  • It would have been a global catastrophe, comparable to a nuclear winter.
  • When that failed to capture the public's heart, it was reused to create the nuclear winter scenario.
  • If you launch, the entire world is destroyed in a nuclear winter.
British Dictionary definitions for nuclear winter

nuclear winter

a period of extremely low temperatures and little light that, it has been suggested, would occur as a result of a nuclear war
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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nuclear winter in Culture

nuclear winter definition

A theory first put forward in 1983 predicting that a large-scale nuclear exchange would produce enough smoke and soot to lower the temperature of the Earth significantly. Subsequent calculations indicated that the climatic effects would be much less than had originally been claimed, leading to the use of the term nuclear autumn to describe the phenomenon.

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