View synonyms for epicenter


[ ep-uh-sen-ter ]


  1. Also Geology. a point, directly above the true center of disturbance, from which the shock waves of an earthquake apparently radiate.
  2. a focal point, as of activity:

    Manhattan's Chinatown is the epicenter of the city's Chinese community.


/ ĕpĭ-sĕn′tər /

  1. The point on the Earth's surface that is directly above the focus (the point of origin) of an earthquake. The epicenter is usually the location where the greatest damage associated with an earthquake occurs.
  2. See Note at earthquake

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Other Words From

  • epi·central adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of epicenter1

1885–90; < New Latin epicentrum < Greek epíkentros on the center. See epi-, center
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Compare Meanings

How does epicenter compare to similar and commonly confused words? Explore the most common comparisons:

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Example Sentences

All trips are based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the epicenter of Tornado Alley, a swath of land that runs from central Texas to South Dakota and spawns many of the approximately 1,200 events each year.

Complicating matters, Texas is the nation’s epicenter for free-standing emergency rooms that are not connected to hospitals.

France on Wednesday reported 3,776 new infections, the largest daily increase in three months, while Spain—which has re-emerged as an epicenter of the pandemic on the continent—recorded 3,715 new cases, the most since April 23.

From Fortune

Miami-Dade and Broward Counties remain the pandemic’s epicenter in Florida, with 25 and 12 percent of the state’s total cases respectively.

Wuhan, once the epicenter of the virus, tested 10 million out of its roughly 11 million population in 19 days in May, using pop-up test sites to take throat swabs and an army of district government staff to contact residents.

From Ozy

Since then, Kisangani has been the epicenter of nearly every rebellion in the Congo.

It seemed that I, a staunch feminist, had found myself in the epicenter of macho culture.

“Expat bankers are definitely into the drugs/hooker scene, and Wan Chai is the very epicenter,” he told The Daily Beast.

The fact that these tensions are present even at the epicenter of the mindfulness world is telling.

Liberia, the epicenter of the epidemic, was relying on just 50 doctors to care for the entire nation before the outbreak occurred.

The ground motion near the epicenter was so violent that the tops of some trees were snapped off.

The location of an earthquake is commonly described by the geographic position of its epicenter and by its focal depth.

The Santa Cruz mountains suffered little damage from the seismic waves, even though they were close to the epicenter.