vol·ca·no | \ väl-ˈkā-(ˌ)nō , vȯl- \
plural volcanoes or volcanos

Definition of volcano 

1 : a vent in the crust of the earth or another planet or a moon from which usually molten or hot rock and steam issue also : a hill or mountain composed wholly or in part of the ejected material

2 : something of explosively violent potential

Illustration of volcano

Illustration of volcano

volcano 1: 1 cinder cone, 2 shield volcano, 3 stratovolcano

Examples of volcano in a Sentence

The volcano last erupted 25 years ago. beset by prolonged heat and lingering racial tension, the city was like a seething volcano

Recent Examples on the Web

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is producing wide river of lava stretching all the way to the ocean. USA TODAY, "Lava from Kilauea volcano is now hotter, more fluid," 18 June 2018 The destruction from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano continues. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Wipes Out an Entire Neighborhood Called 'Vacationland'," 7 June 2018 Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has taken out homes and highways. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things for June 7: Justice Department, Alice Johnson, China, immigration, airfare," 7 June 2018 Amid the ongoing destruction as lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroyed over 100 homes, a spectacular moment was captured Tuesday from the top of the mountain. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Rainbow spotted in crater of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano," 6 June 2018 Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroyed hundreds more homes overnight, overtaking two oceanfront communities where residents were advised to evacuate last week, officials said Tuesday. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, chicagotribune.com, "Hawaii volcano lava destroys hundreds of homes overnight," 5 June 2018 But in a striking display of the resilience and adaptability of Native Hawaiian culture, the exaltation of Pele has not only persisted through the centuries, but seems to be strengthening with every bone-rattling eruption of Hawaii’s volcanoes. Simon Romero, New York Times, "Madame Pele, Hawaii’s Goddess of Volcanoes, Awes Those Living in Lava’s Path," 21 May 2018 On Tuesday, ash plumes from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano had spouted as high as 12,000 feet, scientists said. Jaclyn Reiss, BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s the story behind the photo of golfers who kept golfing as a volcanic ash plume rose behind them in Hawaii," 17 May 2018 Geologists warned Wednesday that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could erupt explosively and send boulders, rocks and ash into the air around its summit in the coming weeks. Bloomberg.com, "Geologists Warn an Explosive Event Is Possible at Hawaii Volcano," 10 May 2018

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

1665, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for volcano

Italian or Spanish; Italian vulcano, from Spanish volcán, ultimately from Latin Volcanus Vulcan

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Statistics for volcano

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for volcano

The first known use of volcano was in 1665

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English Language Learners Definition of volcano

: a mountain with a hole in the top or side that sometimes sends out rocks, ash, lava, etc., in a sudden explosion (called an eruption)


vol·ca·no | \ väl-ˈkā-nō , vȯl- \
plural volcanoes or volcanos

Kids Definition of volcano

1 : an opening in the earth's crust from which hot or melted rock and steam erupt

2 : a hill or mountain composed of material thrown out in a volcanic eruption

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Comments on volcano

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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