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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web 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 But fear of possible residual radiation kept warier occupationaires away from the hypocenter site. Hiroki Kobayashi, National Geographic, 5 Aug. 2020 The boys soon arrived at the power station, which was situated near the bomb’s hypocenter and had been reduced to little more than a pile of scorched metal. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Aug. 2020 See More

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

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 25 Mar. 2023.

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