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

Image The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plans for a crisis in Puerto Rico were based on a focused disaster like a tsunami, not a major hurricane devastating the whole island. Frances Robles, New York Times, "FEMA Was Sorely Unprepared for Puerto Rico Hurricane, Report Says," 12 July 2018 Your once perfect little neon power ball is suddenly overtaken by a foundation tsunami, with lightning bolts of old eyeliner at every turn. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Beautyblender in 3 Easy Steps, According to Experts," 2 Jan. 2019 Amidst the massive rebuilding effort following the tsunami, diversifying the rhinos will be a difficult challenge. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Devastating Tsunami Threatens Endangered Rhinos," 28 Dec. 2018 It was centered in the northeast of the island and didn't have the potential to cause a tsunami, Indonesia's geological agency said. Andi Jatmiko, Fox News, "Third strong earthquake shakes Lombok as death toll tops 220," 9 Aug. 2018 After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on Japan’s northeastern coast that killed nearly 16,000 people, some moved to this area seeking safety. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Amid Japan’s Flood Devastation, Survivors Dig Out," 9 July 2018 The Fukushima Dai-ichi, or No. 1, plant was heavily damaged in a March, 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. Mari Yamaguchi, BostonGlobe.com, "Japanese utility eyes scrapping 2nd Fukushima nuclear plant," 14 June 2018 The son of a Japanese father and an American mother, Ogawa was living in Japan in 2011 when the massive earthquake and tsunami led to the meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Heath Ogawa's long journey culminates with NCAA diving championship," 16 Apr. 2018 Also important, says Tokumi Odagiri of Meiji University, were the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which killed some 18,000 people. The Economist, "Not all Japanese towns and villages are atrophying," 22 Mar. 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

6 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for tsunami

The first known use of tsunami was in 1896

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on tsunami

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tsunami

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tsunami

Nglish: Translation of tsunami for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tsunami

Comments on tsunami

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


an enemy or opponent

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