epicenter

noun
epi·cen·ter | \ˈe-pi-ˌsen-tər \

Definition of epicenter 

1 : the part of the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake — compare hypocenter sense 1

2 : center sense 2a the epicenter of world finance

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Other Words from epicenter

epicentral \ˌe-pi-ˈsen-trəl \ adjective

Did You Know?

The meaning of epi- in epicenter is "over", so the epicenter of an earthquake lies over the center or "focus" of the quake. Epicenter can also refer to the centers of things that may seem in their own way as powerful—though not as destructive—as earthquakes. Wall Street, for example, might be said to lie at the epicenter of the financial world.

Examples of epicenter in a Sentence

by continually reinventing itself, Las Vegas has managed to remain a national epicenter for entertainment

Recent Examples on the Web

Jerusalem is an emotional issue at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Palestinian official slams Trump, Kushner; says 'real estate men' won't solve conflict," 4 July 2018 Jerusalem is an emotional issue at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Palestinian official slams Trump, Kushner; says 'real estate men' won't solve conflict," 4 July 2018 A decade ago, the city was at the epicenter of a ruinous civil war. Washington Post, "Public enemy or savior? An Iraqi city could reveal the true Moqtada al-Sadr," 4 July 2018 Jerusalem is an emotional issue at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ilan Ben Zion, chicagotribune.com, "Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'," 24 June 2018 Jerusalem is an emotional issue at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ilan Ben Zion, USA TODAY, "Jared Kushner rips Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due ‘soon’," 24 June 2018 The park, right at the epicenter of skid row, is a hive of activity. Benjamin Oreskes, www.latimes.com, "Many people work hard to avoid the homeless. These volunteers embrace them," 7 June 2018 With Universal champion Brock Lesnar enjoying the spoils of a part-time schedule, WWE does not have the ability to keep the world title at the epicenter of their Raw brand. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "The Week in Wrestling: Why Brock Lesnar’s Absence Is Such a Big Problem for Raw," 6 June 2018 Bikoro, one of two remote communities at the epicenter of the outbreak, has no power, no functioning lab, and very little infrastructure. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Ebola outbreak opens way to chaotic jockeying to test experimental drugs," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epicenter.' 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 epicenter

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for epicenter

New Latin epicentrum, from epi- + Latin centrum center

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Statistics for epicenter

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for epicenter

The first known use of epicenter was in 1880

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More Definitions for epicenter

epicenter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of epicenter

: the part of the earth's surface that is directly above the place where an earthquake starts

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Comments on epicenter

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