The following exerpt from a web-novel:

A shaft of pure actinide destruction lanced forth from its outthrust palm (...)


What does "actnide" means in this context?

  • 2
    The primary characteristic of all actinides is that they're radioactive. So in your cited example it's just a (slightly creative) alternative to radioactive destruction. Feb 18, 2019 at 15:41
  • This seems like an adequate answer ... why not make it an answer?
    – fred2
    Feb 18, 2019 at 17:04
  • I don't know, seems pretty speculative. @Mindwin: did you look up this word? Please describe your difficulty applying the definitions you have found.
    – SamBC
    Feb 18, 2019 at 17:59
  • @FumbleFingers please post your comment as an answer. Feb 19, 2019 at 12:40
  • @SamBC I was unable to find a source of this word as an adjective. Feb 19, 2019 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


I rather suspect that the author is simply misusing the word.

The actinides are the f-block elements of group 7 in the periodic table, so called because they come immediately after actinium. The elements share some characteristics, such as having largely incomplete f-shell electrons and being radioactive, but none of that is applicable here. After all, most radioactive elements aren't in the actinide grouping.

I suspect they actually meant actinic. It's another scientific term, but one that has found great currency in certain types of fiction writing, especially in the set phrase 'actinic glare'. Actinic light is usually bright and low-wavelength (blue-white).

It is most likely that the two words are related, but they mean very different things.


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