vol·​ca·​nic | \ väl-ˈka-nik How to pronounce volcanic (audio) , vȯl- also -ˈkā-\

Definition of volcanic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or produced by a volcano
b : characterized by volcanoes a volcanic range
c : made of materials from volcanoes
2 : explosively violent : volatile volcanic emotions



Definition of volcanic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a volcanic rock

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Other Words from volcanic


volcanically \ väl-​ˈka-​ni-​k(-​ə)lē How to pronounce volcanically (audio) , vȯl-​ also  -​ˈkā-​ \ adverb

Examples of volcanic in a Sentence


a man with a volcanic temper that could go off at any moment

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Earthquakes can increase the risk of volcanic eruption, according to the USGS. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Magnitude-4.6 Earthquake Rattles Seattle Area Awake," 12 July 2019 Burton-Johnson tells Metcalfe that in most cases the steam and superheated gases that power volcanic eruptions isn’t enough to keep rock molten at the surface. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Rare Lava Lake Found on Top of Sub-Antarctic Volcano," 8 July 2019 This in turn produces numerous and frequent volcanic eruptions. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: Jupiter and its many moons put on a show this week," 7 July 2019 Something similar also happens naturally: big volcanic eruptions have, in the past, thrown large amounts of material into the atmosphere, cooling the planet for months or years. The Economist, "Reaching for the sunshade: July 2030," 4 July 2019 Most studies have focused on aerosols made from sulfates, which are spread in the atmosphere by volcanic eruptions. John Fialka, Scientific American, "Risks of Controversial Geoengineering Approach “May Be Overstated”," 3 July 2019 Known as maria, which is Latin for seas, these zones were formed when ancient volcanic eruptions of molten rock flooded to the surface. National Geographic, "Why does Earth have a moon, and how does it affect our planet?," 3 July 2019 In striking photos captured by satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station, smoke is seen billowing from the volcano on Raikoke, located northeast of Japan, as the uninhabited island saw its first volcanic eruption since 1924. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Volcano was dormant for almost 100 years. It just erupted in 'spectacular' fashion," 27 June 2019 Portugese were exempted from the quotas in 1957, Machado said, when a volcanic eruption in the Azores forced many to flee. Erin Baldassari, The Mercury News, "San Jose celebrates Portuguese community with linguica, malasadas and family," 8 June 2019

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


1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1801, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for volcanic

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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The first known use of volcanic was in 1776

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English Language Learners Definition of volcanic

: of, relating to, or produced by a volcano
informal : very angry or violent


vol·​ca·​nic | \ väl-ˈka-nik How to pronounce volcanic (audio) , vȯl-\

Kids Definition of volcanic

: of, relating to, or produced by a volcano volcanic ash

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More from Merriam-Webster on volcanic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with volcanic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for volcanic

Spanish Central: Translation of volcanic

Nglish: Translation of volcanic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of volcanic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on volcanic

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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