earth·​quake | \ ˈərth-ˌkwāk How to pronounce earthquake (audio) \

Definition of earthquake

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

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Synonyms for earthquake


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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 He was arrested following his activism on behalf of thousands of children killed in an earthquake in Sichuan province. Will Coviello,, "'Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly' explores the Chinese artist's imprisonment by China and his expo at Alcatraz," 18 Jan. 2021 Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and other government ministers arrived in Petrinja after the earthquake. NBC News, "At least 7 dead after magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes Croatia," 29 Dec. 2020 Additional funds were paid into an educational foundation after the California Department of Insurance shelved its investigation into claims filed after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, "Virginia Ellis, who exposed California government scandal for The Times, dies at 77," 26 Dec. 2020 Prince Harry has been involved in a number of relief efforts, including being on the ground in Nepal alongside Team Rubicon in 2015 to help locals after a devastating earthquake. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Announce Archewell’s First Major Project to Help Hunger Relief," 20 Dec. 2020 The port was also damaged in the November 2018 earthquake. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "Port of Alaska’s new petroleum and cement terminal on track to finish construction in 1 year," 14 Nov. 2020 The school, along with much of the rest of San Francisco, was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. Michael Williams,, "Alumni from S.F.’s old Polytechnic High School offer up to $5,000 for missing trophies," 11 Nov. 2020 But the meltdown of a nuclear power plant in Fukushima after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 led to a widespread shutdown of the country’s energy-producing reactors, which had generated roughly a third of Japan’s total power supply. Ben Dooley, New York Times, "Japan’s New Leader Sets Ambitious Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050," 26 Oct. 2020 For years, city officials have viewed the boxy Salt Lake Mattress Co. Building as a focal point, but the structure’s unreinforced masonry saw heavy damage in the March 18 earthquake. Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Salt Lake City’s Depot District sees building boom after homeless shelter is demolished," 25 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for earthquake

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for earthquake

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Earthquake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for earthquake


How to pronounce earthquake (audio)

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 How to pronounce earthquake (audio) \

Kids Definition of earthquake

: a shaking or trembling of a portion of the earth

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Comments on earthquake

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