Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

epicenter

play
noun epi·cen·ter \ˈe-pi-ˌsen-tər\

Simple Definition of epicenter

  • : the part of the earth's surface that is directly above the place where an earthquake starts

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of epicenter

  1. 1 :  the part of the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake — compare hypocenter 1

  2. 2 :  center 2a, b, c <the epicenter of world finance>

epicentral

play \ˌe-pi-ˈsen-trəl\ adjective

Examples of epicenter in a sentence

  1. <by continually reinventing itself, Las Vegas has managed to remain a national epicenter for entertainment>



Did You Know?

The meaning of epi- in epicenter is "over", so the epicenter of an earthquake lies over the center or "focus" of the quake. Epicenter can also refer to the centers of things that may seem in their own way as powerful—though not as destructive—as earthquakes. Wall Street, for example, might be said to lie at the epicenter of the financial world.

Origin and Etymology of epicenter

New Latin epicentrum, from epi- + Latin centrum center


First Known Use: 1887



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up epicenter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommadate acommodate accommodate accomodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ