youth·​quake | \ ˈyüth-ˌkwāk How to pronounce youthquake (audio) \

Definition of youthquake

: a shift in cultural norms influenced by the values, tastes, and mores of young people

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The 1960s were a time of seismic social upheaval brought about by young people bent on shaking up the establishment. From politics to fashion to music, the ways of youth produced far-reaching cultural changes. Linguistically, the sixties saw the addition to English of such words as "flower child," "peacenik," "hippie," "love beads," "trippy," "vibe," "freak-out," and "love-in." Not surprisingly, they also saw the emergence of "youthquake." The first known use of "youthquake" in print comes from a 1966 article in McCall's: "the youthquake, as some call it ... has swept both sides of the Atlantic."

Examples of youthquake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So too were the youthquake models of the 1960s such as Twiggy, who had the gangly, curveless physique of a 12-year-old boy. National Geographic, "The idea of beauty is always shifting. Today, it’s more inclusive than ever.," 7 Jan. 2020 According to Oxford, recent words of the year have included vape, toxic, youthquake and post-truth. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "'Climate emergency' is Oxford Dictionary's word of the year," 22 Nov. 2019 What the Rolling Stones were to music, Bailey was to photography: raw, iconoclastic and utterly attuned to the spirit of London’s youthquake. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: Drawing Inspiration," 4 Apr. 2019 Quant was a cornerstone of the '60s 'youthquake' movement., "Mary Quant, Mini Skirt Purveyor, Is Being Honored With A Fashion Exhibit," 8 June 2018 There are few faces more synonymous with the youthquake of the '60s than Veruschka, who turns 79 today. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Happy Birthday, Veruschka! The '60s Supermodel's Best Beauty Looks of All Time," 14 May 2018 The customers came from many nations but only one generation: an inky pan-ethnic youthquake. Jane Kamensky, New York Times, "When Writing a Book Leaves a (Literal) Mark on Its Author," 28 Feb. 2018 That the youthquake may have been a murmur should be little comfort to the Conservatives. The Economist, "A not-so-youthful rebellionThe myth of the “youthquake” of 2017," 3 Feb. 2018 The film's wardrobe symbolized the youthquake of the 1960s and the desire of women to dress in a childlike, girlish manner. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The '60s Films That Every Fashion Girl Should Watch," 27 Jan. 2015

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

1966, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for youthquake

youth + earthquake

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The first known use of youthquake was in 1966

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Cite this Entry

“Youthquake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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