earth·quake | \ ˈərth-ˌkwāk \

Definition of earthquake 

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

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Examples of earthquake in a Sentence

a building destroyed by earthquake the San Andreas Fault is notorious for its earthquakes

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And since so many locals had a newfound fear of the sea and its unpredictability after the earthquake, these piers, so close to shore, seemed a safer alternative to boats. David Farley, WSJ, "Where to Feast on Italy’s Freshest Seafood? These Historic Piers," 10 July 2018 A month after the second most powerful earthquake ever was recorded, the Alaska port community of Valdez remained in ruins. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "Valdez honors Alaska Guardsmen killed in plane crash after 1964 earthquake," 23 June 2018 Oxfam's right to operate in Haiti had already been revoked in February following allegations that staff members, including the country director, hired prostitutes at Oxfam properties while working in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Haiti bans Oxfam GB over sexual misconduct scandal," 14 June 2018 His first local performance was at San Francisco’s Punch Line comedy club on Oct. 22, 1989, less than a week after the Loma Prieta earthquake. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "Jon Stewart dropped by S.F., but it felt like he’s been here the whole time," 6 June 2018 What has happened is that the the top tourist spot on the island, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park did close down after the weekend earthquake — but re-opened partially Sunday afternoon. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Kilauea not hurting local businesses," 6 May 2018 In years past, the towers were checked using only binoculars, even after earthquakes. John Blackstone, CBS News, "Engineers are taking the most detailed look at the Golden Gate Bridge since it opened," 3 May 2018 Brazil took in many Haitians after the earthquake to help with large construction projects for the World Cup and the Olympics. Kate Morrissey,, "Lent collection money to benefit rebuilding in Haiti," 29 Mar. 2018 The women each bear accents from their homelands: Nirva, who asked that her full name be withheld, fled here from Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. NBC News, "As Trump Targets Immigrants, Elderly Brace To Lose Caregivers," 26 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of earthquake

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for earthquake

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

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More Definitions for earthquake



English Language Learners Definition of earthquake

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


earth·quake | \ ˈərth-ˌkwāk \

Kids Definition of earthquake

: a shaking or trembling of a portion of the earth

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