Definition of nucleus noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈnjuːkliəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnuːkliəs//
    (pl. nuclei
    BrE BrE//ˈnjuːkliaɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnuːkliaɪ//
    Molecules and matter, Genetic engineering, Cell biology
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  1. 1 (physics) the part of an atom that contains most of its mass and that carries a positive electric charge see also neutron, proton Wordfinderantiparticle, atom, electron, ion, neutron, nucleus, particle, positron, proton, valency See related entries: Molecules and matter
  2. 2 (biology) the central part of some cells, containing the genetic material See related entries: Genetic engineering, Cell biology
  3. 3the central part of something around which other parts are located or collected These paintings will form the nucleus of a new collection.
  4. Word Originearly 18th cent.: from Latin, literally ‘kernel, inner part’, diminutive of nux, nuc- ‘nut’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: nucleus