tsu·​na·​mi | \ (t)su̇-ˈnä-mē How to pronounce tsunami (audio) \
plural tsunamis also tsunami

Definition of tsunami

: a great sea wave produced especially by submarine earth movement or volcanic eruption : tidal wave

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Other Words from tsunami

tsunamic \ (t)su̇-​ˈnä-​mik How to pronounce tsunamic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tsunami in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What follows is a glorious sequence that includes an instantaneous downshift, a rumbling crescendo from the tailpipes, and a tsunami of thrust. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 BMW Alpina B7 Upends the 7-Series Hierarchy," 9 Sep. 2020 The Chilean Navy said there was no possibility of a tsunami, but some damage was reported in the area. Fox News, "Magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes off Chile's northern coast, minor damage reported," 1 Sep. 2020 Zhao, 39, told Sky News her dad had contracted the deadly disease at the end of January but that the city's emergency services were so overwhelmed by the tsunami of growing COVID-19 cases that there was no ambulance to take him to the hospital. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Chinese woman who lost father to coronavirus sues government for apology, compensation," 1 Sep. 2020 Oskar was the middle name of Fernando Bengoechea, Berkus's onetime boyfriend who was killed during the Sri Lanka tsunami in 2004, while vacationing there with Brent. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "A Brief Timeline of Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent's Relationship," 28 Aug. 2020 Over the last several months—and with the possible eviction tsunami looming—more and more localities have started experimenting with ODR for cases involving landlord/tenant disputes. Michael Waters, Wired, "To Stop the Eviction Tsunami, We Need Online Chats," 28 Aug. 2020 The pandemic’s tsunami of job losses hasn’t changed this outlook, robotmakers and users told me. David Berreby, National Geographic, "The robot revolution has arrived," 18 Aug. 2020 As the tsunami progressed, the rocks scraped along solid ground beneath. Nola Taylor Redd, Smithsonian Magazine, "Mars Had Landslide-Powered Tsunamis That Put Earth’s Mega-Waves to Shame," 10 July 2020 After the 2011 disaster, which killed the author’s grandmother and laid waste to his ancestral home, an American journeys to Japan to search for what the tsunami left in its wake. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Japan: A Longform Reading List of Longform Writing," 30 Apr. 2020

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

1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tsunami

Japanese, from tsu harbor + nami wave

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Time Traveler for tsunami

Time Traveler

The first known use of tsunami was in 1896

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Statistics for tsunami

Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tsunami.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tsunami. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for tsunami


How to pronounce tsunami (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tsunami

: a very high, large wave in the ocean that is usually caused by an earthquake under the sea and that can cause great destruction when it reaches land


tsu·​na·​mi | \ su̇-ˈnä-mē How to pronounce tsunami (audio) \

Kids Definition of tsunami

: a large sea wave produced especially by an earthquake or volcanic eruption under the sea : tidal wave

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