earthquake

EnglishEdit

 
Earthquake tsunami wave animation.

EtymologyEdit

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

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NounEdit

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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