af·ter·shock | \-ˌshäk \

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

The report was released as Arizona, Oklahoma and West Virginia continue to feel the aftershocks from teacher protests over low pay and cuts to school spending that shut down schools for days. Moriah Balingit, Washington Post, "Teachers shelling out nearly $500 a year on school supplies, report finds," 15 May 2018 Add the aftershock of the graying health care workforce and the U.S. is now seeing the burden of costs on the system with the challenge of providing quality care across all income levels. Alice Adams, Houston Chronicle, "Home health care providers face strong demand for services," 9 Mar. 2018 Like many Italian cities, Macerata suffered in the aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis. Jason Horowitz,, "Migrants were welcome in Macerata, before a murder," 7 July 2018 Since the quake, there have been frequent aftershocks. CBS News, "Hawaii officials hope Kilauea volcano eruption won't deter travelers," 12 May 2018 One Shawnee Mission school official compared the phenomenon to the aftershocks of an earthquake. Mara Williams, Katy Bergen, Joe Robertson And Glenn Rice, kansascity, "Do our schools take threats seriously enough? | The Kansas City Star," 4 Mar. 2018 Authorities have warned residents of possible strong aftershocks. Washington Post, "Japan to check concrete walls after Osaka quake deaths," 19 June 2018 And there are likely to be more aftershocks that are hard to anticipate this far in advance. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "America under Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Kumarasamy’s characters have managed to piece their lives back together, but her preoccupation lies with the seams — and how these are continually tested by the small, private aftershocks of trauma. Tania James, New York Times, "Debut Stories Trace the Aftershocks of the Sri Lankan Civil War," 5 July 2018

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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Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

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The first known use of aftershock was in 1847

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English Language Learners Definition of aftershock

: a smaller earthquake that occurs after a larger one

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

Comments on aftershock

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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