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 Across the nation, students, faculty and staff participate in drills to prepare for earthquakes and tornadoes without hesitation or second thoughts. Jaclyn Schildkraut, The Conversation, "Do lockdown drills do any good?," 22 Nov. 2019 Slips along these faults, found where plates of dense ocean crust dive beneath continents, cause the world’s most destructive earthquakes and tsunamis. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: A love-science symbiosis, vitamin-fortified foods, and earthquake-scouting drones," 15 Nov. 2019 Ms Abbasoglu says, standing next to the site’s centrepiece, a giant mosaic that seems to float above ground like a magic carpet, the effect of centuries of earthquakes and floods that caused some of its parts to rise and others to sink. The Economist, "Some building works threaten Turkish antiquities. Others save them," 14 Nov. 2019 Oregon plans to use its $260,484 grant to assess the risks posed to 16 dams from potential floods, earthquakes and landslides as a way to prioritize future safety improvements. David A. Lieb, The Denver Post, "Colorado, 25 other states get $10M for dams from new federal grant program," 10 Nov. 2019 The first Europeans to the Bay Area 250 years ago this week experienced an earthquake and noticed evidence of fires. Carl Nolte,, "Fires are nothing new in California. The population of nearly 40 million is," 3 Nov. 2019 But fracking, which involves injecting high pressure liquid into underground rock formations to release trapped oil and gas, has caused adverse environmental effects like earthquakes and the pollution of aquifers across the United States. NBC News, "Oil-backed Blue Wave: New Mexico funds progressive policy through fracking," 27 Oct. 2019 The minimal plot is little more than an excuse to launch an all-out slugfest that includes explosions, fist fights, earthquakes and naval bombardments. Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘One Piece: Stampede’ screens as the manga-inspired series turns 20," 23 Oct. 2019 Additional preparedness and response tips for wildfires, home fires, earthquakes and flooding. Ramona Sentinel, "County to mail disaster plans to severe fire-risk areas," 18 Oct. 2019

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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Earthquake.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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

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


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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