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


quake, shake, temblor, tremor

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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

Demolishers will recycle 150 tons of structural steel braces that WSDOT installed since the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, where columns sank near Yesler Way. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s big demolition spectacle: How crews plan to pulverize the Alaskan Way Viaduct," 5 Dec. 2018 That internal furnace provides Earth's magnetic field and its geography on the whole—everything from foothills to volcanoes to earthquakes owe their genesis to heat at a tectonic level. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "To Understand How the Earth Formed, and How It Might Disappear, NASA Is Drilling on Mars," 21 Feb. 2019 Since this had happened previously in response to earthquakes, Hirose said people were feeling confident the situation was under control. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "An insider’s perspective on Fukushima and everything that came after," 5 Oct. 2018 The teens from Parkland also met students from the University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army, a group formed out of a tragedy of its own: a series of earthquakes, including one in 2011 that led to 185 deaths and years of damage to the city. Beatrice Dupuy, Teen Vogue, "28 Parkland Students Traveled to New Zealand to Attend a Summit on Youth Activism," 10 Aug. 2018 Decades earlier and further upslope, Rosemary Kawamoto, her parents and three sisters evacuated their farm after scientists warned that a series of earthquakes might signal a new phase of an eruption. CBS News, "Hawaii homeowners describe despair after lava destroys hundreds of homes," 15 June 2018 Beginning April 30, there were hundreds of small earthquakes each day on East Hawai‘i Island. Kimberly Dark, Curbed, "Living on the edge," 6 June 2018 In March 2011, a magnitude-9 earthquake shook Japan’s north east, triggering a massive tsunami that overwhelmed the Fukushima Daiichi plant and sparked its meltdown. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Japan acknowledges first Fukushima radiation related death, seven years after disaster," 6 Sep. 2018 There are enough seismometers around these days to detect and locate nearly all earthquakes on land, except the most minuscule ones. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Seafloor fiber optic cables can work like seismometers," 15 June 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

15 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for earthquake

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

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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 boil down or concentrate

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