geo·​phys·​ics | \ ˌjē-ə-ˈfi-ziks How to pronounce geophysics (audio) \

Definition of geophysics

: a branch of earth science dealing with the physical processes and phenomena occurring especially in the earth and in its vicinity

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Other Words from geophysics

geophysical \ ˌjē-​ə-​ˈfi-​zi-​kəl How to pronounce geophysics (audio) \ adjective
geophysically \ ˌjē-​ə-​ˈfi-​zi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce geophysics (audio) \ adverb
geophysicist \ ˌjē-​ə-​ˈfi-​zə-​sist How to pronounce geophysics (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Geophysics applies the principles of physics to the study of the Earth. It deals with such things as the movement of the Earth's crust and the temperatures of its interior. Another subject is the behavior of the still-mysterious geomagnetic field. Some geophysicists seek out deposits of ores or petroleum; others specialize in earthquakes; still others study the water beneath the Earth's surface, where it collects and how it flows.

Examples of geophysics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Experts have wondered for over 50 years about whether or not magnetic field shifts affect life on Earth, but lacked clear avenues to find answers, geophysics expert James E. T. Channell tells the Times. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2021 Ballard went on to gain degrees in both chemistry and geology and a Master's in geophysics from the University of Hawaii. Tamara Hardingham-gill, CNN, 6 May 2021 This method is used in diverse areas including: radiology, atmospheric sciences, geophysics, oceanography, plasma physics, astrophysics, quantum information, and other science areas. Cindy Gordon, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 Unfortunately, though, the laws of geophysics are indifferent to politics. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2021 John Louie, a geophysics professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, unconnected to the dig, said the gravimeter is a powerful tool that can yield important clues about what’s underground. Time, 9 Mar. 2021 John Louie, a geophysics professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, unconnected to the dig, said the gravimeter is a powerful tool that can yield important clues about what's underground. Fox News, 13 Mar. 2018 Frances Arnold, a California Institute of Technology chemical engineer who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry, and MIT vice president for research and geophysics professor Maria Zuber will lead the outside science advisory council. CBS News, 16 Jan. 2021 Frances Arnold, a CalTech biochemistry and bioengineering professor, will serve as co-chair of Biden’s scientific advisory council alongside Maria Zuber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology geophysics and space science researcher. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 15 Jan. 2021

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

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for geophysics

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for geophysics

Time Traveler

The first known use of geophysics was circa 1889

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Statistics for geophysics

Last Updated

29 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Geophysics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for geophysics



English Language Learners Definition of geophysics

: a branch of science that deals with the physical movements and forces of the Earth (such as its climate and oceans)

More from Merriam-Webster on geophysics

Nglish: Translation of geophysics for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of geophysics for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about geophysics


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