tsu·​na·​mi (t)su̇-ˈnä-mē How to pronounce tsunami (audio)
plural tsunamis also tsunami
: a great sea wave produced especially by submarine earth movement or volcanic eruption : tidal wave
tsunamic adjective

Examples of tsunami in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the earthquake, officials issued a major tsunami warning, which was later downgraded, although residents are continually warned of impacts from the aftershocks, and waves reached heights of three feet in some areas along Japan's central west coast. USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 State and federal disaster agencies worry that a landslide and tsunami could occur at Barry Arm. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 22 Feb. 2024 The effort failed, of course, but the debt tsunami may force the issue sooner rather than later. Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 The Apple show occasionally went viral for confrontational interviews, but where Bush-era Stewart was a soothing source of exasperated sanity, political comedy during the Trump years could feel like a futile shaking of a fist in the face of a cultural tsunami. Alison Herman, Variety, 13 Feb. 2024 The torrent of capital rushing to America to nourish the beast grew into a tsunami. Yanis Varoufakis, Fortune, 11 Feb. 2024 The Office of the Governor of Hawaii posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that no tsunami is expected. Brandon Downs, CBS News, 9 Feb. 2024 To date, its donations are barely a drip in the tsunami of outside spending expected around the 2024 election, which already exceeded $300 million earlier this month, according to an analysis by OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign finance. Kenneth P. Vogel, New York Times, 30 Jan. 2024 The case has caused a tsunami of interest among lawyers, regulators, researchers and environmentalists. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, 7 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tsunami.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Japanese, from tsu harbor + nami wave

First Known Use

1896, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tsunami was in 1896

Dictionary Entries Near tsunami

Cite this Entry

“Tsunami.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tsunami. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


tsu·​na·​mi (t)su̇-ˈnäm-ē How to pronounce tsunami (audio)
: a great sea wave produced especially by an earthquake or volcanic eruption under the sea : tidal wave

Japanese, from tsu "harbor" + nami "wave"

More from Merriam-Webster on tsunami

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