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

Adjective a man with a volcanic temper that could go off at any moment
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hanauma Bay, formed by a volcanic crater, is a favorite snorkeling spot teeming with colorful tropical fish and fascinating marine life. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "Best Places to Travel in August," 2 July 2020 Then the fact that this unusual geologic formation was once considered to be the eighth wonder of the world but was obliterated in a volcanic explosion that removed every trace of it in 1886. Washington Post, "Amid the pandemic, a writer finds inspiration in century-old travel stories," 26 June 2020 An American couple who survived a deadly volcanic eruption in New Zealand is filing a lawsuit Thursday against a tour company and cruise line. CBS News, "U.S. couple files lawsuit after barely surviving deadly New Zealand volcano eruption: "We're very angry"," 25 June 2020 Historians and scientists had previously suspected that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption may have been responsible for these miserable conditions. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "A massive volcanic eruption may have contributed to the rise of the Roman Empire," 25 June 2020 Prior to this study, some researchers had suggested that volcanic eruptions may have caused the extinction event, which wiped out almost 75% of life on Earth. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Study finds asteroid impact, not volcanoes, made the Earth uninhabitable for dinosaurs: 'Only plausible explanation'," 23 June 2020 The researchers also identified a smaller and more limited volcanic eruption in 44 BCE at Mount Etna in Italy. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Scientists identify Alaskan volcano that may have helped the rise of the Roman Empire," 22 June 2020 For years, modern historians have speculated that a major volcanic eruption might have been the culprit. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The volcano that caused famines in ancient Rome? It was in Alaska," 22 June 2020 It's made of volcanic rock and is 8 inches across — large enough to make enough guac for an appetizer and a taco topping in one go. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "Everything you need for the perfect taco night at home," 18 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a separate project in 2018, for example, scientists announced the discovery of a stunning volcanic ‘lost world’ off the coast of Tasmania. Fox News, "Underwater rivers discovered along Australia’s coastline," 20 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for volcanic

Time Traveler

The first known use of volcanic was in 1776

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Statistics for volcanic

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Volcanic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/volcanic. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for volcanic


How to pronounce volcanic (audio)

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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