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[suhb-uh-tom-ik] /ˌsʌb əˈtɒm ɪk/
adjective, Physics.
of or relating to a process that occurs within an atom.
noting or pertaining to a particle or particles contained in an atom, as electrons, protons, or neutrons.
Origin of subatomic
1900-05; sub- + atomic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for subatomic
  • They are composed largely of gas and plasma, a superheated state of matter composed of subatomic particles.
  • For example, it shows that the decay of subatomic particles is necessarily probabilistic.
  • Matter is programmed at the subatomic level to respond in predetermined ways.
  • Latest data show the subatomic particles continue to break the speed limit.
  • Long before the galaxies even formed, the universe was filled with a plasma of atomic nuclei and subatomic particles.
  • The macro element was the resonator, but the quantum effect was the vibration, which was at the subatomic level.
  • The typical behaviors of subatomic particles are not going to be observed in the macroscopic world.
  • The last two are the ones that work at the subatomic level.
  • It is the dimension of time, the quantum probability ocean, and subatomic particles spontaneously appear and disappear into it.
  • Quantum mechanics describes phenomena at the subatomic level.
British Dictionary definitions for subatomic


of, relating to, or being a particle making up an atom or a process occurring within atoms: the electron is a subatomic particle
having dimensions smaller than atomic dimensions
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 subatomic

1903, from sub-atom (1880), from sub- + atomic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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subatomic in Medicine

subatomic sub·a·tom·ic (sŭb'ə-tŏm'ĭk)

  1. Of or relating to the constituents of the atom.

  2. Having dimensions or participating in reactions characteristic of the constituents of the atom.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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subatomic in Culture

subatomic definition

A descriptive term for objects and events within the atom.

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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