caldera

noun
cal·​de·​ra | \ kal-ˈder-ə How to pronounce caldera (audio) , kȯl-, -ˈdir- How to pronounce caldera (audio) \

Definition of caldera

: a volcanic crater that has a diameter many times that of the vent and is formed by collapse of the central part of a volcano or by explosions of extraordinary violence

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

A large, bowl-shaped volcanic depression, a caldera forms when the top of a volcanic cone collapses into the space left after magma is ejected during a violent volcanic eruption. Its diameter is many times that of the original vent. The term is Spanish for "caldron." Subsequent minor eruptions may build small cones on the floor of the caldera, and the caldera may still later fill up with water; an example of this is Crater Lake in Oregon.

Examples of caldera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That didn’t stop a 32-year-old man from climbing over a railing at the Steaming Bluff overlook, which hangs 300 feet above Kīlauea’s caldera, to approach the cliff’s edge on Wednesday night. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Turns Out You Can Fall 70 Feet Into Kīlauea Volcano and Survive," 3 May 2019 When looking at volcanoes, scientists often focus on what's known as the caldera, a volcanic crater similar to a cauldron. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Kilauea's 2018 Eruption Was "Unprecedented," Scientists Say," 11 Dec. 2018 Skip out on the Serengeti Plains and instead explore the world’s largest unbroken caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater, home to endangered black rhinos and dozens of other species of majestic African animals. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Why an Around-the-World Private Jet Trip is the Only Way to Fly," 17 Aug. 2018 The latter formed the current caldera at Campi Flegrei, which is more than eight miles across. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "An Italian volcano’s massive eruptions fit a pattern — and the cycle may have restarted," 14 Nov. 2018 The National Park visitor center and hotel - Volcano House - are on the rim of the caldera. Angela Fritz, chicagotribune.com, "8 facts about Hawaii's Kilauea volcano," 7 May 2018 An eager Hubbard even flew over the crater while the volcano was still active, nearly being sucked into the superheated caldera by a downdraft. Ben Anderson, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska's biggest volcanic eruptions," 27 Feb. 2012 Since 1912, only seven caldera-collapsing events have occurred worldwide. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "An Italian volcano’s massive eruptions fit a pattern — and the cycle may have restarted," 14 Nov. 2018 The summit caldera is also collapsing, causing even larger temblors almost daily. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Fox News, "Road damage from earthquakes is latest Hawaii volcano peril," 3 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of caldera

1667, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caldera

Spanish, literally, cauldron, from Late Latin caldaria — more at cauldron

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about caldera

Statistics for caldera

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caldera

The first known use of caldera was in 1667

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on caldera

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with caldera

Spanish Central: Translation of caldera

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about caldera

Comments on caldera

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!