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[tsoo-nah-mee] /tsʊˈnɑ mi/
an unusually large sea wave produced by a seaquake or undersea volcanic eruption.
Also called seismic sea wave.
Origin of tsunami
1905-10; < Japanese, equivalent to tsu harbor (earlier tu) + nami wave
Related forms
[tsoo-nah-mik, -nam-ik] /tsʊˈnɑ mɪk, -ˈnæm ɪk/ (Show IPA),
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tsunamic
Historical Examples
  • It is heart rending and often provokes in me a tsunamic pity, an earthquake of goodwill.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
British Dictionary definitions for tsunamic


noun (pl) -mis, -mi
a large, often destructive, sea wave produced by a submarine earthquake, subsidence, or volcanic eruption. Sometimes incorrectly called a tidal wave
a sudden increase in or overwhelming number or volume of: the tsunami of Olympic visitors
Word Origin
from Japanese, from tsu port + nami wave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tsunamic



1897, from Japanese tsunami, from tsu "harbor" + nami "waves."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tsunamic in Science
A very large ocean wave that is caused by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption and often causes extreme destruction when it strikes land. Tsunamis can have heights of up to 30 m (98 ft) and reach speeds of 950 km (589 mi) per hour. They are characterized by long wavelengths of up to 200 km (124 mi) and long periods, usually between 10 and 60 minutes. See Note at tidal wave.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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tsunamic in Culture
tsunami [(tsooh-nah-mee)]

A large wave on the ocean, usually caused by an undersea earthquake, a volcanic eruption, or coastal landslide. A tsunami can travel hundreds of miles over the open sea and cause extensive damage when it encounters land. Also called tidal waves.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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