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

Recently, there has been some dispute about whether the volcano erupted in August or October of that year. Fox News, "Pompeii 'sorcerer’s treasure trove' discovered, with bones, skull charms and gems for rituals," 14 Aug. 2019 Millions of years ago, a volcano erupted in what’s now the Patagonia region of southern Argentina, leaving behind a huge caldera. Peter Wilf, National Geographic, "Prehistoric tree is first of its kind found below the Equator," 6 June 2019 After the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in Iceland in 2010, flight cancellations left Miranda Cheng stranded in Paris. Quanta Magazine, "Moonshine Master Toys With String Theory," 4 Aug. 2016 An extinct 250-million-year-old volcano in Britain is up for sale for 50,000 British pounds, or $60,890. Fox News, "250-million-year-old volcano up for sale for $60G," 30 July 2019 One morning, Hemmings and Bowlen were dropped off at the top of Haleakala Crater, Maui’s largest volcano. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "For Pat Bowlen, family, friends and adventure in Hawaii represented “perfect lifestyle”," 28 July 2019 The Indiana newlyweds were hiking up the nearly 3,800-foot Mount Liamuiga during their honeymoon on the island of St. Kitts when Clayton fell into the dormant volcano. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Honeymooner tells of wife’s ‘miracle’ rescue after he fell into a volcano," 26 July 2019 An young Indiana couple on their honeymoon on St. Kitts in the Caribbean were hiking on the island's dormant volcano when the husband fell in. NBC News, "Indiana man on honeymoon in Caribbean fell into dormant volcano," 25 July 2019 The upshot is that the late 1830s and 1840s saw temperatures recovering in many places, as the world’s volcanoes finally gave it a rest. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "No climate event of the last 2,000 years looks like humanity’s," 25 July 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

17 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for volcano

The first known use of volcano was in 1665

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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

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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 move or obtain by small maneuvers

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