tsu·na·mi | \(t)su̇-ˈnä-mē \
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 \ adjective

Examples of tsunami in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In March of 2011 Murakami’s world was literally rocked when an earthquake and resultant tsunami washed over Japan taking thousands of lives and leaving massive destruction. Gaile Robinson, star-telegram, "The Modern goes big and bright with international art star Murakami retrospective," 8 June 2018 In 2013, a tsunami-like wave swept three people off a jetty on Barnegat Inlet. Anthony R. Wood, Philly.com, "That was a 'meteotsunami' that hit Jersey Shore during storm; it wasn't the first time," 16 May 2018 An offshore canyon could collapse, triggering a tsunami that would swamp the Silver Strand and send waves surging through the bay. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Decades-long march continues to rid San Diego of quake-vulnerable buildings," 13 May 2018 In 2011 an earthquake caused a tsunami that wrecked the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Allen Pierleoni, latimes.com, "William T. Vollmann turns his mammoth talents to climate change," 11 May 2018 The tsunami arrival scene is one of the most riveting, tense and transporting scenes in recent film history. Todd Stewart, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'Twister' turns 22 years old: My top 22 natural disaster films," 10 May 2018 Yet folks on the front lines of the Oregon's earthquake and tsunami preparedness recommend a few strategies that are free and worthy of tackling today. Molly Harbarger, OregonLive.com, "Oregon Lottery results: The luck of the Irish is worth $1 million for St. Patrick's Day raffle," 18 Mar. 2018 Tuesday’s tsunami was unleashed by a 1:32 a.m. quake off the southern coast of Alaska, near Kodiak Island. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Behind the tsunami scare: It’s not easy to tell when a big wave is coming," 23 Jan. 2018 That's the current situation in Green Township, where a tsunami of sit-down and fast-food restaurants has descended on the community. Mallorie Sullivan, Cincinnati.com, "3 headlines: Cincinnati makes Kesha cry, Big Red Machine and lots of new food," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for tsunami

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for tsunami

The first known use of tsunami was in 1896

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More Definitions for tsunami



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 \

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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