fore·​shock | \ ˈfȯr-ˌshäk How to pronounce foreshock (audio) \

Definition of foreshock

: any of the usually minor tremors commonly preceding the principal shock of an earthquake

Examples of foreshock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Only two of those — including the one on July 4 — have been a foreshock to a larger quake., "The 7.1 earthquake could have been so much worse. Here’s why," 8 July 2019 Pursley said generally, in earthquake terminology, the largest earthquake event is the main shock, so the 6.4 quake may be classified as a foreshock. Lauren Hernández,, "7.1 earthquake strikes Ridgecrest," 6 July 2019 Scientists said the initial quake on Independence Day and its small aftershocks were actually foreshocks to Fridays larger tremor, which is the most powerful since a 7.1 quake shook the Mojave Desert in 1999. Fox News, "Californians brace for aftershocks after pair of potent quakes; governor confident about federal commitment to assist state," 6 July 2019 Some notable earthquakes have been preceded by foreshocks, including the largest quake ever recorded, a 9.5-magnitude event that struck Chile in 1960. Tim Arango,, "California earthquake rattles a state wary of the ‘Big One’," 6 July 2019 Some notable earthquakes have been preceded by foreshocks, including the largest quake ever recorded, a 9.5-magnitude event that struck Chile in 1960. Tim Arango, New York Times, "Southern California Earthquake Rattles a State Wary of the ‘Big One’," 6 July 2019 Scientists are now better able to identify previously undiscovered faults, detect patterns of moving earthquake swarms — like the one in Riverside County — and identify faint clusters of foreshocks that occur before a larger earthquake. Rong-gong Lin Ii,, "More than 400 small earthquakes rattle Southern California town: 'It’s been like a roller coaster'," 4 June 2019 The March 11 earthquake was preceded by a series of large foreshocks over the previous two days. Fox News, "Earthquake Science: The Japanese Quake Explained," 11 Mar. 2011 They are usually preceded by something called an 'aura', a sort of minor foreshock lasting anything up to a couple of minutes before the main event begins. Pat Long, CNN, "Déjà vécu: When déjà vu becomes your reality," 1 June 2017

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

1902, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

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The first known use of foreshock was in 1902

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