seis·​mic | \ ˈsīz-mik How to pronounce seismic (audio) , ˈsīs-\

Definition of seismic

1 : of, subject to, or caused by an earthquake also : of or relating to an earth vibration caused by something else (such as an explosion or the impact of a meteorite)
2 : of or relating to a vibration on a celestial body (such as the moon) comparable to a seismic event on earth
3 : having a strong or widespread impact : earthshaking seismic social changes

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Other Words from seismic

seismically \ ˈsīz-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce seismically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of seismic in a Sentence

Seismic social changes have occurred.

Recent Examples on the Web

Richards and Alvarez also pointed to the seismic waves that likely arrived within 10 minutes of rock's impact, which would have been devastating by today's standards. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Annihilation Event That Killed The Dinosaurs Left This Diverse Graveyard Trapped in Time," 1 Apr. 2019 The credits went to small producers, explorers and seismic data companies to subsidize a portion of their work on the hope the state help could spur more oil and gas production more quickly as payback for the state. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Legal opinions diverge on constitutionality of tax credit bonding bill," 23 Apr. 2018 Geologists Peter Nelson and Stephen Grand of the University of Texas used seismic data to take a look the mantle beneath North America. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Yellowstone’s heat may be coming from deeper underground than thought," 22 Mar. 2018 Relocating to Texas, which falls within the upper 50 percent of teacher pay nationally, made a seismic difference for Sheehan. Zach Schermele, Teen Vogue, "2020 Contender Kamala Harris Has a Plan to Pay Teachers Higher Salaries Nationwide," 5 Apr. 2019 No human on the planet could feel the event, and many seismic machines also missed it. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "French Island Might Be Sitting On Top of Gigantic Underwater Magma Shift," 20 Mar. 2019 In fact, Magnus Juliano, a 27-year-old rapper and graphic designer from Columbus, Ohio, is upping the game in seismic fashion. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "These Viral Louis Vuitton Braids are Blowing Up on Instagram?," 3 Jan. 2019 Beauty Awards 2019 23 Slides In recent years, there’s been a seismic shift in our collective beauty consciousness—we’re scanning ingredient lists, hunting for organic alternatives, and prioritizing sustainable packaging more than ever before. Glamour, "Beauty Awards: The 23 Best Natural Beauty Products of 2018," 25 Mar. 2019 The craft carries a seismic sensor developed by the French National Centre for Space Studies, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Imperial College London. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "NASA’s InSight Spacecraft Lands Safely on Mars," 26 Nov. 2018

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

1858, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for seismic

Greek seismos shock, earthquake, from seiein to shake; probably akin to Avestan thwaēshō fear

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Statistics for seismic

Last Updated

10 May 2019

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Time Traveler for seismic

The first known use of seismic was in 1858

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English Language Learners Definition of seismic

technical : of, relating to, or caused by an earthquake
: very great or important

More from Merriam-Webster on seismic

Spanish Central: Translation of seismic

Nglish: Translation of seismic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on seismic

What made you want to look up seismic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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