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 The University of Maine at Machias produced seismic data that showed it’s possible there were two earthquakes or one and an aftershock, The Boston Globe reported. Fox News, "Small earthquakes shake border of Maine, Canada," 10 Dec. 2020 The aftershock of electing a reality TV star to the Oval Office ignited a fire. Amanda Fitzsimons, Washington Post, "Political ad-maker Mark Putnam has a knack for making Democrats look tough. Is that what they’ll need to win in the long run?," 27 Oct. 2020 Savavedra said the struggle to regain learning skills was an aftershock created by COVID-19 that had affected not only Fort Bend ISD, but had disrupted the entire educational system in Texas and beyond. . Kristi Nix, Chron, "Learning gaps: Fort Bend ISD officials assess lingering aftershocks caused by 'covid slide'," 26 Oct. 2020 That could be one industry aftershock of the pandemic. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Should a Neutral-Site World Series Become Baseball’s New Normal?," 20 Oct. 2020 The Alaska Earthquake Center said a magnitude 5.2 aftershock was reported 11 minutes later, centered roughly in the same area. Chronicle News Services,, "News of the Day From Across the Nation," 19 Oct. 2020 An aftershock hit the area about 20 minutes later at a magnitude of 5.8, the USGS said. NBC News, "7.5 magnitude earthquake near Alaska triggers tsunami warning," 19 Oct. 2020 The earthquake was not an aftershock of the 7.0 quake that caused significant damage throughout the Anchorage area in November 2018, said earthquake center seismologist Natalia Ruppert. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "4.0 earthquake centered in Chugach State Park shakes Anchorage," 15 Oct. 2020 At least one smaller aftershock, around a magnitude 1.7, occurred after the main tremor. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Small earthquake shakes central Utah near Price," 15 Oct. 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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Cite this Entry

“Aftershock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

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