irruption

noun
ir·​rup·​tion | \ i-ˈrəp-shən How to pronounce irruption (audio) \
plural irruptions

Definition of irruption

: an act or instance of irrupting: such as
a : a sudden, violent, or forcible entry : a rushing or bursting in …the assassination still feels like a primal catastrophe—an irruption of inexplicable evil as horrifying as any supernatural bogeyman.— Ross Douthat
b : a sudden and violent invasion …begins not with Hitler's attack on Poland, but with the Japanese irruption into Outer Mongolia in July 1939…— John Gooch
c ecology : a sudden sharp increase in the relative numbers of a natural population usually associated with favorable alteration of the environment The owl's appearance came during an irruption, a huge southward migration of snowy owls from their arctic territories that, this year, followed a successful breeding period.— Scott Carroll

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Examples of irruption in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The exact cause of an irruption is unknown and difficult to predict, although according to the DNR in recent irruption years more owls had been spotted by this time — 84 in 2017, 82 in 2015 and 44 in 2014. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Snowy owls are back in Wisconsin, and spotting them is a social-distance friendly activity," 30 Nov. 2020 Opening Day, meanwhile, brings with it an irruption of promise for even the most hopeless teams that is more suitable for Easter. Matthew Walther, WSJ, "Papal Intervention in Baseball Is Overdue," 1 Apr. 2021 Some years, hundreds will migrate into the state in an event known as an irruption. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Snowy owls are back in Wisconsin, and spotting them is a social-distance friendly activity," 30 Nov. 2020 This year’s extra-large migration, called an irruption, is notable even among similar events because the birds migrated at night, Andrew Del-Colle wrote for Audubon in October. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Songbirds Are Spreading a Deadly Disease at Birdfeeders," 11 Mar. 2021 An irruption is a migration of large numbers of birds to areas where they aren't typically found. Star Tribune, "This winter looks to be a banner year for irruptive boreal birds," 22 Dec. 2020 Evening grosbeaks are undergoing their largest irruption in more than 20 years, according to the authors. Star Tribune, "This winter looks to be a banner year for irruptive boreal birds," 22 Dec. 2020 It’s an owl irruption, of sorts, for the International Owl Center — a burst of artwork. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, "Fall migration, action at bird centers, and more make August a month to engage.," 13 Aug. 2020 The President wants to make the elections a referendum on himself and on immigration, but his irruptions are drowning out other GOP messages like the growing economy and tax reform. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Wisconsin Canary," 4 Apr. 2018

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

circa 1540, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for irruption

Time Traveler

The first known use of irruption was circa 1540

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Statistics for irruption

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Irruption.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irruption. Accessed 5 May. 2021.

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