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

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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 Johnson, the most prominent protester in a group that also includes fellow actor and native Hawaiian Jason Momoa, said building the TMT on the sacred volcano would be a complete disregard for locals who see it as their church. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Why Protesters Don't Want a Giant Telescope Atop This Hawaiian Volcano," 6 Aug. 2019 The volcanoes are not especially tall, comparatively speaking, rising between 52 and 350 feet from the seafloor. National Geographic, "Six underwater volcanoes found hiding in plain sight," 2 Aug. 2019 And according to Sabrina Imbler of Atlas Obscura, that volcano is available for sale. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Would You Like to Buy an Extinct Volcano?," 2 Aug. 2019 The volcano is about 18 miles north of Bandung, the capital of West Java province. NBC News, "Indonesian volcano erupts near third-biggest city," 26 July 2019 Previous studies have concluded that the volcanoes were likely the bigger factor, with some particularly large eruptions in the early part of the time period being the culprits that started the cooling off. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "No climate event of the last 2,000 years looks like humanity’s," 25 July 2019 Kanuha says the dormant volcano is home to sacred waters and native Hawaiian deities. Chris Boyette, CNN, "A judge sided with scientists trying to build a telescope on Mauna Kea," 24 July 2019 For me, an erupting volcano would be something great – from afar of course. Kat Bein, Billboard, "How Party Streaming Platform Cercle Hosts Shows at the Eiffel Tower, a Remote Bolivian Salt Flat & More," 15 July 2019 The immediate effects of the volcano resulted in mass destruction. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Why a volcanic eruption caused a 'year without a summer' in 1816," 17 Sep. 2019

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

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for volcano

The first known use of volcano was in 1665

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More Definitions for volcano


How to pronounce volcano (audio)

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

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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 engage in dissolute behavior

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