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 tsunami (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tsunami in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The area was devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011, a triple catastrophe that killed thousands. Saphora Smith, NBC News, 28 July 2021 The traditional relay began in the Fukushima prefecture, an area that experienced a historic earthquake that triggered a tsunami and mass damage, in a nod to the locals' long road to recovery. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 23 July 2021 When Tokyo bid for the 2020 Games, the prime minister at the time, Shinzo Abe, framed it as a symbol of triumph over a devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011. New York Times, 22 July 2021 Reeling from months of tragedy caused by a devastating tsunami and earthquake, Japan celebrated after its women’s soccer team won the World Cup by beating the United States 3-1 on penalty kicks, after coming from behind twice in a 2-2 tie. BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2021 Given this capital tsunami and the growing public relations push, the entry of such products into the global food system at scale seems likely. Errol Schweizer, Forbes, 6 May 2021 In 2011, Fukushima was hit by an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown and the training facilities served as a base for cleanup efforts. Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2021 The tsunami and the undersea earthquake which triggered it, the largest ever recorded in the region, killed nearly 20,000 people, destroyed over 100,000 homes and threw the lives of tens of millions into turmoil. The Economist, 6 Mar. 2021 That leads us to believe that the scarce supply of labor that businesses are experiencing may well turn into a tsunami in this year’s Q4. Robert Barone, Forbes, 29 Aug. 2021

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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Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tsunami.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tsunami. Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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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 : tidal wave


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

More from Merriam-Webster on tsunami

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tsunami

Nglish: Translation of tsunami for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tsunami


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