youth·​quake ˈyüth-ˌkwāk How to pronounce youthquake (audio)
: 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 Isolated with three small children and unsettled by the frequent seismic tremors, real quakes and youthquakes, Mom packed three kids under the age of 8 on a late-spring California day onto a series of KLM flights eastward. Nina Burleigh, The New Republic, 17 Mar. 2023 Then came the youthquake of the ’60s, along with the proliferation of synthetic fabrics, and subsequent decades brought designer denim into the market, thanks to Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein. Maura Judkis, Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2023 Not exactly a topic expected to start a youthquake. Rod Stafford Hagwood, Sun Sentinel, 23 Nov. 2022 There are few faces more synonymous with the youthquake of the '60s than Veruschka, who turns 82 today. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 14 May 2021 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, 7 Jan. 2020 According to Oxford, recent words of the year have included vape, toxic, youthquake and post-truth. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 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, 4 Apr. 2019 Quant was a cornerstone of the '60s 'youthquake' movement., 8 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'youthquake.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


youth + earthquake

First Known Use

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of youthquake was in 1966


Dictionary Entries Near youthquake

Cite this Entry

“Youthquake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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