Earthquake tsunami wave animation.


From Middle English erthequake, erd-quake, corresponding to earth +‎ quake. Compare similar formations in eorþbeofung (earthquake, literally earth-shaking), eorþdyne (earthquake, literally earth-din), eorþstyring (earthquake, literally earth-stirring), eorþhrērness (earthquake, literally earth-stirring).



earthquake (plural earthquakes)

  1. A shaking of the ground, caused by volcanic activity or movement around geologic faults. [from 14th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.2:
      Her alablaster brest she soft did kis, / Which all that while shee felt to pant and quake, / As it an Earth-quake were: at last she thus bespake.
    • 2006, Declan Walsh, The Guardian, 6 Oct 2006:
      Last year's earthquake crushed his house, his livelihood and very nearly his leg, he said, pointing to a plastered limb that refuses to heal.
  2. (planetary geology) Such a quake specifically occurring on the planet Earth, as opposed to other celestial bodies. [from 20th c.]
    • 1988, Jürgen Oberst and Yosio Nakamura, “A seismic risk for the lunar base” in The Second Conference on Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century, Vol. 1, p. 231-233, NASA:
      Since the response of some man-made structures to the ground motion near the epicenter is highly dependent on frequency, a significant difference in potential damage to the structures is expected between earthquakes and moonquakes.
    • 2006, Bruce A. Bolt, Earthquakes, Fifth Edition:
      The wave patterns, too, are strikingly different: The secondary (S) waves and surface waves on lunar seismograms are not generally as clearly defined and distinct as are those of earthquakes.


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earthquake (third-person singular simple present earthquakes, present participle earthquaking, simple past and past participle earthquaked)

  1. (intransitive) To undergo an earthquake.
    • 1993, Gyeorgos C. Hatonn, The Best of Times: The Worst of Times (page 129)
      Watch the Philippines very closely for the next little while. There is rumbling and earthquaking deep within Pinatubo and increased earthquaking within Mayon.

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earthquake (plural earthquakes)

  1. earthquake
    Synonym: yirdquauk