AskDefine | Define nucleus

Dictionary Definition



1 a part of the cell containing DNA and RNA and responsible for growth and reproduction [syn: cell nucleus, karyon]
2 the positively charged dense center of an atom
3 a small group of indispensable persons or things; "five periodicals make up the core of their publishing program" [syn: core, core group]
4 (astronomy) the center of the head of a comet; consists of small solid particles of ice and frozen gas that vaporizes on approaching the sun to form the coma and tail
5 any histologically identifiable mass of neural cell bodies in the brain or spinal cord [also: nuclei (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From nucleus derived from nux.


  • a RP /ˈnjuː.kli.əs/, /"nju:.kli.@s/
  • a GenAm /ˈnuːkliəs/, /"nu:kli@s/


  1. In the context of "chemistry|physics": The massive, positively charged central part of an atom made up of protons and neutrons.
  2. A large organelle found in cells which contains genetic material.
  3. The central part (of something), round which others are collected.
  4. An initial part that will receive additions.
    This collection will form the nucleus of a new library.
  5. A cluster of many neuronal bodies where synapsing occurs.
physics: massive, positively charged core of an atom
  • Czech: jádro
  • Finnish: ydin
  • German: Atomkern
  • Greek: πυρήνας
  • Japanese: 原子核
  • Polish: jądro
  • Russian: ядро
  • Spanish: núcleo
cytology: large organelle found in cells
  • Czech: jádro
  • Finnish: tuma
  • German: Zellkern
  • Greek: πυρήνας
  • Russian: ядро
  • Spanish: núcleo
central part of something
  • Finnish: ydin
  • Greek: πυρήνας
  • Japanese: 核
  • Polish: jądro
  • Russian: ядро, центр
  • Spanish: núcleo
initial part which will receive additions
  • Finnish: ydin
  • Russian: ядро
neuroanatomy: cluster of many neuronal bodies
  • Russian: ядро

See also



From nux.


Extensive Definition

Nucleus may refer to:

In physics

In biology

In astronomy

In phonology

In computer systems


nucleus in Bulgarian: Ядро
nucleus in Welsh: Niwclews
nucleus in German: Nucleus
nucleus in Modern Greek (1453-): Πυρήνας
nucleus in French: Nucléus
nucleus in Indonesian: Inti
nucleus in Dutch: Nucleus
nucleus in Polish: Nucleus
nucleus in Romanian: Nucleu
nucleus in Slovak: Nukleus
nucleus in Serbian: Нуклеус
nucleus in Thai: นิวเคลียส
nucleus in Yiddish: ניוקליז

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Anlage, Kern, NMR, alpha particle, antibaryon, antilepton, antimeson, atomic nucleus, atomic particle, axiom, axis, baryon, basichromatin, beta particle, bud, center, center of action, center of gravity, centroid, centrum, chromatin, chromatin strands, core, dead center, diameter, diaphragm, egg, electron, elementary particle, elixir, embryo, epicenter, equator, essence, essential, flower, focus, fundamental, germ, germen, gist, gravamen, heart, heterochromatin, hub, hypostasis, inner essence, interior, karyosome, karyotin, kernel, lepton, loins, macronucleus, marrow, mean, meat, median, medulla, meganucleus, meson, metacenter, micronucleus, middle, midmost, midriff, midst, nave, navel, neutron, nub, nuclear force, nuclear magnetic resonance, nuclear particle, nuclear resonance, nucleolus, nucleon, nucleosynthesis, nuts and bolts, omphalos, ovum, photon, pith, pivot, plasmosome, postulate, principle, proton, quid, quiddity, quintessence, rudiment, sap, seed, soul, spark, spermatozoon, spirit, storm center, strangeness, strong interaction, stuff, substance, the nitty-gritty, thick, thick of things, triton, umbilicus, valence electron, waist, waistline, zone
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