earthquake

noun earth·quake \ ˈərth-ˌkwāk \
|Updated on: 19 Jul 2018

Definition of earthquake

1 : a shaking or trembling of the earth that is volcanic or tectonic in origin
2 : upheaval 2

Examples of earthquake in a Sentence

  1. a building destroyed by earthquake

  2. the San Andreas Fault is notorious for its earthquakes

Recent Examples of earthquake from the Web

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

First Known Use of earthquake

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

EARTHQUAKE Defined for English Language Learners

earthquake

Definition of earthquake for English Language Learners

  • : a shaking of a part of the Earth's surface that often causes great damage


EARTHQUAKE Defined for Kids

earthquake

noun earth·quake \ ˈərth-ˌkwāk \

Definition of earthquake for Students

: a shaking or trembling of a portion of the earth


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

one who attends or assists a leader

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!