af·​ter·​shock | \ ˈaf-tər-ˌshäk How to pronounce aftershock (audio) \

Definition of aftershock

1 : an aftereffect of a distressing or traumatic event
2 : a minor shock following the main shock of an earthquake

Examples of aftershock in a Sentence

The first aftershock came just minutes after the earthquake.
Recent Examples on the Web In rapid succession, three seismic events: global pandemic, an economic aftershock, and then, on Memorial Day, eight minutes and forty-six seconds that galvanized the world. CBS News, "Gov. Andrew Cuomo on confronting a "frightening" pandemic, and thoughts on his political future," 22 June 2020 There were no immediate reports of damage and the earthquake was not an aftershock of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Anchorage. Anchorage Daily News, "Magnitude 4.2 earthquake strikes along Turnagain Arm near Anchorage," 18 June 2020 Although travel has stopped and is only starting up again — slowly and in only a few destinations — the aftershocks of that screeching halt, brought on by the coronavirus, continue to reverberate. Sarah Firshein, New York Times, "Help! One Company Refused to Refund Travelers More Than $100,000," 25 May 2020 An aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 sent also residents running out of homes and apartments. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Quake with preliminary magnitude 5.8 quake strikes Albania," 21 Sep. 2019 The aftershocks of Friday’s news that CBS was dropping out of the running for the Southeastern Conference’s television rights are just beginning to be felt. John Talty |, al, "Winners and losers from SEC football leaving CBS," 22 Dec. 2019 Three aftershocks, of magnitude 4.7 and 4.6, hit within less than an hour in the same region at the same depth. Danica Coto, The Denver Post, "6.0 earthquake shakes Puerto Rico; no damage immediately reported," 23 Sep. 2019 Even if the economy were to reopen in the next couple of months, there would likely be serious aftershocks. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is This the End of the Indie Bookstore?," 16 Apr. 2020 There have been 1,243 aftershocks from the March 18 earthquake as of Wednesday, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations said. Rachel Aretakis, USA TODAY, "Another aftershock rattles Utah residents; Earthquakes also reported in Guam, Honduras," 16 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aftershock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aftershock

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aftershock

after- + shock entry 1

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Time Traveler for aftershock

Time Traveler

The first known use of aftershock was in 1847

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Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aftershock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce aftershock (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aftershock

: a smaller earthquake that occurs after a larger one

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aftershock

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Britannica English: Translation of aftershock for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about aftershock

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