vol·​ca·​no | \ väl-ˈkā-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce volcano (audio) , 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 The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano and subsequent tsunami in Tonga last weekend damaged villages, spoiled drinking water and led to multiple deaths. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 20 Jan. 2022 Woven within the coastal rainforest, the hotel and residences offer panoramic vistas of the ocean, coast, an inactive volcano and natural splendor of Mexico. Emma Reynolds, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 The Mirage is known for its prime location on the Las Vegas strip, and its attractions including an aquarium, an artificial volcano and a dolphin habitat. Ayushi Agarwal, ABC News, 14 Dec. 2021 The partially mutilated remains speak to the Vesuvius victim’s painful death and the force of the volcano’s explosion. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2021 The highest volcano on Indonesia’s most densely populated island of Java spewed thick columns of ash, searing gas and lava down its slopes in a sudden eruption triggered by heavy rains on Saturday. Fox News, 6 Dec. 2021 But some residents who fled to a government shelter near Lumajang district’s head office said authorities did not convey any information to them about the volcano’s activities. NBC News, 5 Dec. 2021 The place also has some beautiful natural landscapes like the Tequila volcano and the Big River, as well as historic Baroque-style buildings, at the Historical Center, where the Church of Santiago Apostol and its stained glass windows stand out. Christin Parcerisa Vigueras, Travel + Leisure, 9 Nov. 2021 The organization had been monitoring the volcano on Hawaii's Big Island for a few months. Naledi Ushe, PEOPLE.com, 30 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for volcano

Time Traveler

The first known use of volcano was in 1665

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Last Updated

25 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Volcano.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/volcano. Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for volcano



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 How to pronounce volcano (audio) , 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

More from Merriam-Webster on volcano

Nglish: Translation of volcano for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of volcano for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about volcano


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