hy·​po·​cen·​ter ˈhī-pə-ˌsen-tər How to pronounce hypocenter (audio)
: the focus of an earthquake compare epicenter sense 1
: the point on the earth's surface directly below the center of a nuclear bomb explosion
hypocentral adjective

Examples of hypocenter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The hypocenter – the specific spot beneath the earth’s surface where an earthquake originates, also known as the focus – was at a depth of 4.7 kilometers (2.9 miles), according to the USGS. Joedy McCreary, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2024 Each station captures data about how much the earth moves and vibrates during a temblor and how much energy moves out from the hypocenter, or the site of an earthquake under the planet's surface. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 5 Apr. 2024 The point in the Earth where the energy is first released is called the hypocenter, said Nate Onderdonk, professor of geological sciences at Cal State Long Beach. Madalyn Amato, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2021 An epicenter, then, is the point at the Earth’s surface above the hypocenter. Madalyn Amato, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2021 Rather, the slip between rocks begins at one spot on the face of the fault—the hypocenter—and travels along it, like a zipper being unzipped. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 23 Sep. 2020 Only eight of those 20 had the other constraints Kearse and Kaneko needed to test their model, like the earthquake’s hypocenter. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 23 Sep. 2020 The Sanno Shinto Shrine, located about half a mile from the hypocenter, was reduced to ash by the bomb. Amy Briggs, National Geographic, 5 Aug. 2020 Those directly under the bomb’s detonation point, or hypocenter, were incinerated, instantaneously erased from existence. Hiroki Kobayashi, National Geographic, 5 Aug. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hypocenter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hypocenter was in 1905

Dictionary Entries Near hypocenter

Cite this Entry

“Hypocenter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocenter. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

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