• Diagram of Earthquake
    Diagram of Earthquake
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n earthquake shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth resulting from underground movement along a fault plane of from volcanic activity
    • n earthquake a disturbance that is extremely disruptive "selling the company caused an earthquake among the employees"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In the 20th century, over three million people have died from earthquakes
    • n Earthquake A shaking, trembling, or concussion of the earth, due to subterranean causes, often accompanied by a rumbling noise. The wave of shock sometimes traverses half a hemisphere, destroying cities and many thousand lives; -- called also earthdin earthquave, and earthshock.
    • a Earthquake Like, or characteristic of, an earthquake; loud; startling. "The earthquake voice of victory."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Each year 50,000 earthquakes take place on this planet.
    • n earthquake A movement or vibration of a part of the earth's crust. Such movements are of every degree of violence, from those that are scarcely perceptible without the aid of apparatus specially contrived for the purpose to those which overthrow buildings, rend the ground asunder, and destroy thousands of human lives. The duration of earthquakes is as variable as their intensity. Sometimes there is a single shock, lasting only a second or two; at other times a great number of shocks occur in succession, separated by greater or less intervals of time, the earth not being reduced to complete quiescence for weeks or even months. It is not known that any portion of the earth's surface is entirely exempt from earthquakes; but there are large areas where no very destructive ones have ever occurred, either in the memory of man or as recorded in history. The regions most frequently visited by destructive shocks are those where active volcanoes exist, those near high mountain-ranges, and those where the rocks are of recent geological age, and are much disturbed or uplifted. Such regions are the vicinity of the Mediterranean, the shores of the Pacific and the adjacent islands, the neighborhood of the Alps, and the East India islands. Regions not liable to seismic disturbances are the whole of northeastern North America, the east side of South America, the north of Asia, and a large part of Africa. An earthquake-shock is a wave-like motion of a part of the earth's crust, and, in the words of Humboldt, is one of the ways in which the reaction of the interior of the earth against its exterior makes itself manifest. The most destructive earthquake of which we have any knowledge was that of Lisbon. It began November 1st, 1755, and was felt over that part of the earth's surface included between Iceland on the north, Mogador in Morocco on the south, Töplitz in Bohemia on the east, and the West India islands on the west. The destruction of life and property occasioned by this shock was very great. The disturbance continued, especially in the vicinity of the Mediterranean, with short intermissions, for several months. On November 18th, 1755, the most violent shock occurred which has been felt in New England since its settlement by the whites. One of the most destructive earthquakes of recent occurrence was that which took place on the island of Ischia near Naples, July 28th, 1883, by which over 2,000 persons perished. By the earthquake at Mendoza, South America, on the 20th of March, 1861, over 12,000 persons lost their lives. A violent earthquake, most destructive in Charleston, south Carolina, and vicinity, occurred on the night of August 31st, 1886. See seismic, seismometer, and volcanism.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are more than 50,000 earthquakes throughout the world every year.
    • Earthquake a quaking or shaking of the earth: a heaving of the ground
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  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.”
  • Lord Byron
    “There is no such thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake, or an eternal fever. Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such a state?”
  • Jeannette Rankin
    Jeannette Rankin
    “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. eorthe; cf. Dut. aarde, Ger. erde.


In literature:

It's an earthquake, that's what it is!
"Dave Porter and His Rivals" by Edward Stratemeyer
It would be unpardonable to write anything about Comrie without making allusion to the earthquakes which have made it famous.
"Chronicles of Strathearn" by Various
The captain attributed the shock to an earthquake, and on our arrival at Chile, his conjecture was confirmed.
"Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests" by J. J. von Tschudi
In Greece, a tremendous earthquake laid the city of Zante in ruins.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
An earthquake seemed a not improbable thing.
"Lippincott's Magazine, December 1878" by Various
These are to be a horrible train of ills in the form of pestilence, famine, and earthquakes.
"The Lost Ten Tribes, and 1882" by Joseph Wild
In 1851 it suffered severely from an earthquake.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1" by Various
She had never known fear before, not even during the earthquake days.
"McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908." by Various
The village of Lone Pine was levelled by the accompanying earthquake.
"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard
When we returned south we could see what damage the earthquake had done.
"Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific" by Felix Speiser

In poetry:

Pyramids strong and sure;
Nor lightnings fierce nor earthquake shock
Can ever sway, for firm as rock
Ye ever will endure.
"Creation" by Mary Weston Fordham
To solid marble next, my name
I gave as a perpetual trust;
An earthquake rent it to its base,
And now it lies, o'erlaid with dust.
"Carving A Name" by Horatio Alger Jr
For his waving locks were tempests,
And the thunder-cloud his frown;
Where he trod the earthquake followed,
And the forests bowed them down.
"Ugonde's Tale" by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell
'Till one evening roared the earthquake:
Monkeys howled, and parrots screamed:
And the Guaraons at morning
Gathered here, as men who dreamed.
"The Legend of La Brea" by Charles Kingsley
The motes up and down in the sun
Ever restlessly moving we see;
Whereas the great mountains stand still,
Unless terrible earthquakes there be.
"Motes In The Sunbeams" by Charles Lamb
Jove is my brother;
Mine eyes are the lightning;
The wheels of my chariot
Roll in the thunder,
The blows of my hammer
Ring in the earthquake!
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf I. -- The Challenge Of T" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In news:

Factory worker deaths in Italy raise questions on building codes after earthquakes.
Italian officials are questioning seismic building standards and inspection procedures in the aftermath of two damaging earthquakes.
Resignations protest recent convictions of scientists who failed to predict an earthquake.
An earthquake far off the Oregon Coast has not caused any reported damage.
A powerful earthquake struck New Zealand>New Zealand early Saturday.
Coast was rocked Saturday night with a 7.7 earthquake, one of the largest ever to hit Canada.
People gather at a makeshift shelter the day after an earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Wednesday.
Post-earthquake repairs could keep the Washington Monument closed into 2014 and cost $15 million.
China reeling after deadly earthquakes.
An earthquake measuring at least magnitude-5.9 shook a sparsely populated area of southern Iran on Sunday, flattening seven villages and killing 10 people, officials said.
Wes Knight (right) in action for the Vancouver Whitecaps during a 2011 Major League Soccer game against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Studying earthquakes with a flywheel .
0 Scientists say they have built a device to simulate the forces generated in large earthquakes.
'Hearing Something We Can't Hear:' How Animals Foretold The Earthquake.
We have weather "forecasts," budget "projections," attempts at earthquake "predictions.

In science:

All sites that are above threshold at a given time step in the avalanche relax simultaneously according to (1) and the earthquake is over when there are no more unstable sites in the system (Fi < Fth , ∀i).
A Nonconservative Earthquake Model of Self-Organized Criticality on a Random Graph
The number of topplings during an earthquake defines its size, s, and we will be interested in the probability distribution PN (s).
A Nonconservative Earthquake Model of Self-Organized Criticality on a Random Graph
In the upper figure it can be observed Alboran Sea Seismic Series; in the middle figure, Antequera Seismic Series is shown and, finally, Loja Seismic Series is presented in the lower figure. As greater circle radius are used as higher magnitude earthquake.
Continuous Time Random Walks and South Spain Seismic Series
Bak, P.; Tang, C.; (1989); Earthquakes as a Self-organised critical phenomenon. J.
Continuous Time Random Walks and South Spain Seismic Series
Carlson, J.M.; Langer, J.S.; (1989b); Mechanical model of an earthquake fault. Phys.
Continuous Time Random Walks and South Spain Seismic Series