[ ep-uh-sen-ter ]
/ ˈɛp əˌsɛn tər /


Also epicentrum. Geology. a point, directly above the true center of disturbance, from which the shock waves of an earthquake apparently radiate.
a focal point, as of activity: Manhattan's Chinatown is the epicenter of the city's Chinese community.
Also especially British, ep·i·cen·tre.

Origin of epicenter

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


ep·i·cen·tral, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for epicentre

British Dictionary definitions for epicentre


US epicenter

/ (ˈɛpɪˌsɛntə) /


the point on the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake or underground nuclear explosionCompare focus (def. 6)
informal the absolute centre of somethingthe epicentre of world sprinting

Derived forms of epicentre

epicentral, adjective

Word Origin for epicentre

C19: from New Latin epicentrum, from Greek epikentros over the centre, from epi- + kentron needle; see centre
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

Scientific definitions for epicentre

[ ĕpĭ-sĕn′tər ]

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. See Note at earthquake.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.