af·​ter·​shock ˈaf-tər-ˌshäk How to pronounce aftershock (audio)
: an aftereffect of a distressing or traumatic event
: 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 Some have been avoiding them for fear of aftershocks. Aida Alami, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2023 The quake was followed by a series of aftershocks, including one measuring 3.4 on the Richter Scale. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 8 Nov. 2023 The initial quake, numerous aftershocks, and a second 6.3-magnitude quake on Wednesday flattened entire villages, destroying hundreds of mud-brick homes that could not withstand such force. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Oct. 2023 Many had slept there since Saturday, fearing the aftershocks that have rolled through the city. Yaqoob Akbary, New York Times, 11 Oct. 2023 In photos: Thousands dead, homes destroyed in Afghanistan earthquakes De Silva had to briefly interrupt the interview when a new aftershock struck the charity’s building in the evening. Rick Noack, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 The quake, which struck not 50 miles southwest of Marrakech and was followed by a 3.9 magnitude aftershock on Sunday, has injured over 2,500 people in the area thus far, in addition to those who were killed or remain missing. Emma Specter, Vogue, 11 Sep. 2023 With most of the community flattened, survivors worked to clear debris, recover the dead, and steer the living away from buildings teetering on the edge of collapse from aftershocks. Sam Metz and Mosa'ab Elshamy,, 11 Sep. 2023 Whenever there’s an earthquake there are aftershocks. Lauren McGaughy, Dallas News, 18 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aftershock.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


after- + shock entry 1

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aftershock was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near aftershock

Cite this Entry

“Aftershock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on aftershock

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