[sahyz-mik, sahys-]
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Sometimes seis·mal [sahyz-muh l, sahys-] /ˈsaɪz məl, ˈsaɪs-/, seis·mi·cal.

Origin of seismic

First recorded in 1855–60; seism + -ic
Related formsseis·mi·cal·ly, adverbnon·seis·mic, adjectiveun·seis·mal, adjectiveun·seis·mic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for seismic


  1. relating to or caused by earthquakes or artificially produced earth tremorsAlso (less commonly): seismical (ˈsaɪzmɪkəl)
  2. of enormous proportions or having highly significant consequencesseismic social change
Derived Formsseismically, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for seismic

1858, from seismo- + -ic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

seismic in Science


  1. Relating to an earthquake or to other tremors of the Earth, such as those caused by large explosions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.