geo·​ther·​mal | \ ˌjē-ō-ˈthər-məl How to pronounce geothermal (audio) \

Definition of geothermal

: of, relating to, or utilizing the heat of the earth's interior also : produced or permeated by such heat geothermal steam geothermal regions

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Other Words from geothermal

geothermally \ ˌjē-​ō-​ˈthər-​mə-​lē How to pronounce geothermal (audio) \ adverb

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Geothermal comes partly from the Greek thermos, "hot". Most geothermal electricity is provided by power plants situated in areas where there is significant activity of the Earth's great tectonic plates—often the same areas where volcanoes are found. But hot water from deep underground may be used by cities far from volcanoes to heat buildings or sidewalks. And a newer source of geothermal energy relies on a less dramatic kind of heat: Individual homeowners can now install heat pumps that take advantage of the 50°-60° temperature of the soil near the surface to provide heating in cold weather (and air-conditioning in the warm months). These very small-scale geothermal systems may eventually supply more useful energy than the large power plants.

Examples of geothermal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cornwall has a burgeoning green movement, and the local area here is hopeful for a mining revival with the discovery of lithium and geothermal energy. Washington Post, 12 June 2021 In Germany, home to Europe’s biggest auto industry, Vulcan Energy Resources wants to produce lithium in another geothermal project in the Upper Rhine Valley. Adrian Croft, Fortune, 11 June 2021 In Massachusetts, pilot projects are underway in which gas utilities—using their existing expertise, workforce, rights of way and customer relationships—will install geothermal grids that provide heating and cooling to entire neighborhoods. WSJ, 8 June 2021 Why America’s first national park is both its Serengeti, famous for its megafauna, and its Iceland, with thousands of geothermal features, the most on earth. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 2 June 2021 But there’s also a saltwater infinity pool, two propane generators, four geothermal ground loops, a home touch lighting system and radiant floor heating. Mary Carole Mccauley,, 2 June 2021 Meanwhile, Yellowstone may be known for its geothermal activity, but that's not the only place to find it. Ali Wunderman, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 The agreement is a big deal for the geothermal industry, which, as I’ve written previously, could play a huge role in the clean energy transition. Sammy Roth Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 The country’s first national park, a wonder of geothermal activity, is open year-round. Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2021

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

1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for geothermal

geo- + thermal entry 1

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Time Traveler for geothermal

Time Traveler

The first known use of geothermal was in 1875

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Statistics for geothermal

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Geothermal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for geothermal



English Language Learners Definition of geothermal

: of, relating to, or using the natural heat produced inside the Earth also : produced by such heat


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