phre·​at·​ic | \ frē-ˈa-tik How to pronounce phreatic (audio) \

Definition of phreatic

1 : of, relating to, or being groundwater
2 : of, relating to, or being an explosion caused by steam derived from groundwater

Examples of phreatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But de Moor's research suggests studying the gases from volcanic vents in the hours and minutes leading up to an eruption might help scientists predict future phreatic events. Author: Scott Wilson, Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "As Kilauea erupts, volcanologists swarm: ‘I expect great science from this event’," 24 May 2018 Since May 2, the lava lake in the crater began to drop, which increases the chances for a phreatic explosion. Madison Park And Amir Vera, CNN, "High levels of sulfur dioxide prompt health warning in Hawaii," 15 May 2018 What volcanic feature, located inside the crater of an erupting Hawaiian volcano, has been dropping for weeks, increasing geologists' concerns that a phreatic eruption is likely? CNN, "CNN 10 - May 18, 2018," 17 May 2018 As pressure builds, eventually Kilauea will explode steam, hurling any loose rocks with it — a phenomenon known as a phreatic explosion, Tina Neal, a geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said at the news conference. Fox News, "Kilauea volcano could launch 10-ton ballistic boulders in dramatic explosion," 11 May 2018 The volcano had experienced a phreatic explosion (water-magma explosions) in early January. Erik Klemetti, WIRED, "Wednesday Whatzits," 27 May 2009

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

circa 1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phreatic

Greek phreat-, phrear well; akin to Armenian ałbiwr spring, Old High German brunno — more at burn

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The first known use of phreatic was circa 1890

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to complain fretfully

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