noun \(t)s-ˈnä-mē\

: a very high, large wave in the ocean that is usually caused by an earthquake under the sea and that can cause great destruction when it reaches land

plural tsunamis also tsunami

Full Definition of TSUNAMI

:  a great sea wave produced especially by submarine earth movement or volcanic eruption :  tidal wave
tsu·na·mic \-mik\ adjective

Origin of TSUNAMI

Japanese, from tsu harbor + nami wave
First Known Use: 1897

Rhymes with TSUNAMI


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Catastrophic ocean wave, usually caused by a submarine earthquake. Underwater or coastal landslides or volcanic eruptions also may cause tsunamis. The term tsunami is Japanese for “harbour wave.” The term tidal wave is a misnomer, because the wave has no connection with the tides. Perhaps the most destructive tsunami ever occurred in 2004 in the Indian Ocean, after an earthquake struck the seafloor off the Indonesian island of Sumatra. More than 200,000 people were killed in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and other countries as far away as Somalia on the Horn of Africa.

Variants of TSUNAMI

tsunami or seismic sea wave or tidal wave


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