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 Foot traffic has grown considerably since its construction in 2004 after an earthen ramp leading to one of the compound’s gates collapsed following an earthquake and heavy snowfall. Ilan Ben Zion, ajc, 22 July 2021 The painting is one King bought at a group show that was a fundraiser for Nepal earthquake relief. Wendy Goodman, Curbed, 19 July 2021 In Italy, six scientists and a government official were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six-year prison terms for underestimating the threat in a 2009 earthquake warning. Linda Speight, CNN, 19 July 2021 The recall campaign against California Gov. Gavin Newsom came into clear focus Saturday, but with little of the frenzy and national spotlight that nearly two decades ago caused the political earthquake that ushered Arnold Schwarzenegger into office. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 17 July 2021 State emergency management, for instance, doesn’t have a warehouse full of water and other cooling supplies, and during a major natural disaster, such as a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, its ability to address local needs would be limited. oregonlive, 13 July 2021 Woodruff donated $250 in 2010 to the foundation’s Haitian earthquake relief program, at the time led by two former presidents — Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican George W. Bush. Washington Post, 12 July 2021 Thursday's earthquake was followed by scores of aftershocks, including at least a half-dozen of magnitude 4 or above, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Jocelyn Gecker, Star Tribune, 9 July 2021 Read more about the quake, and follow our earthquake tracker. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 July 2021

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near earthquake

earth quadrant



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Statistics for earthquake

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Earthquake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce earthquake (audio) \

Kids Definition of earthquake

: a shaking or trembling of a portion of the earth

More from Merriam-Webster on earthquake

Nglish: Translation of earthquake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of earthquake for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about earthquake


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