vol·​ca·​nic | \väl-ˈka-nik, 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 , 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

Boiling water flowing down the volcano's slopes from dangerously hot volcanic gas and ash also posed a threat. Fox News, "At Guatemala volcano, weather and danger hinder search," 7 June 2018 The fast-moving flows overtook people in homes and streets with temperatures reaching as high as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 Celsius), and hot ash and volcanic gases that can cause rapid asphyxiation. Sonia Perez D., The Seattle Times, "Guatemala volcano death toll up to 69, expected to rise," 4 June 2018 These wines all have the fiano grape and the volcanic soils of Campania in common. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "From Campania’s Volcanic Soils, Whites in Multiple Colors," 31 May 2018 Several schools closed because of the risk of elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, a volcanic gas. CBS News, "Kilauea opens new fissure, spews more lava and toxic gas," 18 May 2018 The eruption led to school closures due to high levels of sulfur dioxide, volcanic gas. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Erupts, But the ‘Big One’ Is Still Coming," 17 May 2018 Ash is a new hazard for Hawaii's Big Island, already grappling with volcanic gas and lava that has destroyed 37 homes and other structures and forced the evacuation of about 2,000 residents from a small area in the southeast Puna district. Author: Terray Sylvester, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Ballistic blocks’ shoot from Hawaii volcano, may mark start of violent eruptions," 17 May 2018 Health officials are also warning that toxic volcanic gases like sulfur dioxide are also accumulating, posing an invisible threat. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Kilauea volcano summit exploded, sending a huge ash plume into the air," 17 May 2018 The greater hazard was actually the volcanic gas audibly gushing out of each one, polluting the local air. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Here’s what’s going on with Hawaii’s erupting volcano," 11 May 2018

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

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for volcanic

The first known use of volcanic was in 1776

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More Definitions for volcanic



English Language Learners Definition of volcanic

: of, relating to, or produced by a volcano

: very angry or violent


vol·​ca·​nic | \väl-ˈka-nik, vȯl-\

Kids Definition of volcanic

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

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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).


full of whispering sounds

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