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[thur-moh-noo-klee-er, -nyoo- or, by metathesis, -kyuh-ler] /ˌθɜr moʊˈnu kli ər, -ˈnyu- or, by metathesis, -kyə lər/
of, relating to, or involving a thermonuclear reaction:
thermonuclear power.
Origin of thermonuclear
1935-40; thermo- + nuclear
Pronunciation note
See nuclear. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for thermonuclear
  • As sun thermonuclear energy is running out, this dark region will become sizable, at the appointed time of the reaction.
  • If enough material falls onto the white dwarf, the siphoned fuel ignites a thermonuclear explosion.
  • The big laser will let scientists study thermonuclear reactions without detonating a bomb.
  • Given the destructive power of thermonuclear weapons, it's easy to understand why there's no room for errors.
  • The peace was kept largely by the unthinkable prospect of global thermonuclear war.
  • Chances, short of thermonuclear war, it will be within our lifetimes.
  • The threat of global thermonuclear war seems remote.
  • There is a giant, burning orb of thermonuclear fusion in the sky that represents the entire power source of our planet.
  • The compression of thermonuclear material would help it to burn, he reasoned.
  • Reactions of this type are responsible for the release of energy in stars or in thermonuclear weapons.
British Dictionary definitions for thermonuclear


involving nuclear fusion: a thermonuclear reaction, thermonuclear energy
involving thermonuclear weapons: a thermonuclear 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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Word Origin and History for thermonuclear

1938 with reference to stars, 1953 of weapons (technically only to describe the hydrogen bomb), from thermo- + nuclear.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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thermonuclear in Science
  1. Relating to the fusion of atomic nuclei at high temperatures or to the energy produced in this way.

  2. Relating to weapons based on nuclear fusion, especially as distinguished from those based on nuclear fission.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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thermonuclear in Culture

thermonuclear definition

A term referring to devices that use nuclear fusion, the fusion of atomic nuclei, to produce energy at very high temperatures. (See hydrogen bomb.)

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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