earth·​quake ˈərth-ˌkwāk How to pronounce earthquake (audio)
: a shaking or trembling of the earth that is volcanic or tectonic in origin

Examples of earthquake in a Sentence

a building destroyed by earthquake the San Andreas Fault is notorious for its earthquakes
Recent Examples on the Web Many of the Haitians hadn’t lived in their home country for nearly a decade, having relocated to Chile and other countries in South America after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 The devastating earthquake in Japan on New Year's Day was a sobering reminder that the forces of nature can sometimes pose serious dangers to human society and life, quite apart from disasters linked to climate change. Osvaldo Di Campli, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Seismologists say the Pacific Northwest is at risk of a severe earthquake — magnitude 9 or greater — that could destroy significant parts of the region. Claire Rush and Jennifer Kane, Quartz, 13 Feb. 2024 Though Wednesday’s earthquake was located off Florida’s east coast, most earthquakes that impact the state occur near the Panhandle, according to the USGS. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2024 The cost and availability of property insurance and risk-specific coverage for wildfires, earthquakes, or floods has gone up. Anna Bahney, CNN, 6 Feb. 2024 As the anniversary of the earthquake approached, Ibrahim and Pinar were still healing, slowly. Safak Timur Emin Ozmen, New York Times, 4 Feb. 2024 Five tree fossils buried alive by an earthquake 350 million years ago were found in a quarry in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, according to a study published Friday in the journal Current Biology. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 3 Feb. 2024 There are also new earthquake standards and other regulatory requirements kicking in. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of earthquake was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near earthquake

Cite this Entry

“Earthquake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


earth·​quake ˈərth-ˌkwāk How to pronounce earthquake (audio)
: a shaking or trembling of a portion of the earth

More from Merriam-Webster on earthquake

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