erup·​tion | \ i-ˈrəp-shən \

Definition of eruption

1a : an act, process, or instance of erupting
b : the breaking out of a rash on the skin or mucous membrane
2 : a product of erupting (such as a skin rash)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of eruption in a Sentence

a great eruption of glee as it suddenly dawned on her that she had won the eruption of the volcano Krakatoa was one of the most violent in global history

Recent Examples on the Web

Not long ago, images of a man’s skeleton, apparently crushed by a rock during the ancient eruption of Mount Vesuvius, went viral after their discovery. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "2,000-year-old Roman cemetery discovered in England," 19 Sep. 2018 Occasionally, large eruptions from the surface of the sun—called solar flares—can send huge plumes of magnetic material hurtling toward Earth. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How the Sun Set Off Dozens of Mines During the Vietnam War," 9 Nov. 2018 In the first phase, immediately after the eruption, a long column of ash and pumice blanketed the surrounding towns, most notably Pompeii and Herculaneum. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Extreme heat of Vesuvius eruption vaporized body fluids, exploded skulls," 9 Oct. 2018 Santorini, formed from a volcanic eruption in 1613 B.C., is Greece’s most popular tourist destination. Costas Paris, WSJ, "A Greek Island Paradise Tries to Be a Little Less Welcoming," 1 Sep. 2018 More recently, Tuttle’s team provided FEMA with building maps for the area around the Kilauea volcano eruption, as well as the rest of the Big Island. Emily Strasser, Curbed, "A secret city opens up," 8 Aug. 2018 Tourist arrivals to Bali, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the country’s total, fell during the peak Christmas and new year after a volcano eruption near the island prompted similar travel advisories. Viriya Singgih,, "Tourist Arrivals to Indonesia May Fall After Terror Attacks," 16 May 2018 Thursday's eruption prompted the County of Hawaii's acting mayor, Wil Okabe, to issue a state of emergency declaration. Anchorage Daily News, "‘A very fast-moving situation’: Lava shoots through Hawaii neighborhood as new fissures form," 6 May 2018 Thursday’s eruption prompted the County of Hawaii’s managing director, Wil Okabe, to issue a state of emergency declaration. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "‘A very fast-moving situation’: Lava shoots through Hawaii neighborhood as new fissures form," 6 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eruption.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of eruption

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about eruption

Statistics for eruption

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for eruption

The first known use of eruption was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for eruption


erup·​tion | \ i-ˈrəp-shən \

Kids Definition of eruption

1 : an instance of a volcano exploding
2 : the bursting out of material from a volcano
3 : the sudden occurrence or appearance of something


erup·​tion | \ i-ˈrəp-shən \

Medical Definition of eruption

1 : an act, process, or instance of erupting the eruption of the tooth from the gum specifically : the breaking out of an exanthem or enanthem on the skin or mucous membrane (as in measles)
2 : something produced by an act or process of erupting: as
a : the condition of the skin or mucous membrane caused by erupting
b : one of the lesions (as a pustule) constituting this condition

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on eruption

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


important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!