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 It was preceded and followed by earthquakes and other smaller eruptions. oregonlive, "Reporter recalls Mount St. Helens eruption 40 years later: Beat Check podcast," 18 May 2020 College Station, Texas, isn’t prone to earthquakes. Laine Higgins, WSJ, "College Football Prepares for a Tough Matchup: Tradition vs. Coronavirus," 17 May 2020 Puerto Rico has struggled in recent years to obtain federal funds for a series of disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes and the coronavirus pandemic. Fox News, "Puerto Rico to hold referendum on statehood in November," 17 May 2020 The city of Los Angeles and LA County must find shelter for thousands of homeless people who are living near freeways, a federal judge ordered Friday, saying their health is at risk from pollution, earthquakes and the coronavirus. CBS News, "Judge orders Los Angeles to move thousands of homeless people," 16 May 2020 Apple put the redundancy policy in place after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and led to component constraints for the iPad 2 that the company launched that year. Mark Gurman,, "Apple Supply Chain Braces for Disruption From Coronavirus," 13 May 2020 And topping its list of allies was disgraced former San Francisco Mayor Eugene E. Schmitz, who had been convicted of extortion and jailed after the 1906 earthquake and fire. Peter Hartlaub,, "Anti-Mask League: San Francisco had its own shutdown protests during 1918 pandemic," 8 May 2020 But nerves are already frayed in many parts of the island as Puerto Rico continues to recover from Hurricane Maria, a string of strong earthquakes and the coronavirus. Danica Coto, USA TODAY, "Power outages and damage reported after 5.5 earthquake hits southern Puerto Rico," 2 May 2020 Terrorism, war, hurricanes, and earthquakes create excessive, ultra-visual chaos: fireballs, rubble, water, wounds. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Has Made a Mockery of Minimalism," 23 Apr. 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

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

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Statistics for earthquake

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Earthquake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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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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