1. of or relating to a volcano: a volcanic eruption.
  2. discharged from or produced by volcanoes: volcanic mud.
  3. characterized by the presence of volcanoes: a volcanic area.
  4. suggestive of or resembling a volcano; potentially explosive; volatile: a volcanic temper.

Origin of volcanic

1765–75; volcan(o) + -ic; compare French volcanique
Related formsvol·can·i·cal·ly, adverbvol·can·ic·i·ty [vol-kuh-nis-i-tee] /ˌvɒl kəˈnɪs ɪ ti/, nounnon·vol·can·ic, adjectivesem·i·vol·can·ic, adjectivesem·i·vol·can·i·cal·ly, adverbun·vol·can·ic, adjectiveun·vol·can·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for volcanicity


  1. of, relating to, produced by, or characterized by the presence of volcanoesa volcanic region
  2. suggestive of or resembling an erupting volcanoa volcanic era
  3. another word for extrusive (def. 2)
Derived Formsvolcanically, adverbvolcanicity (ˌvɒlkəˈnɪsɪtɪ), noun
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 volcanicity



1774, from French volcanique (see volcano). Figurative sense of "prone to explosive activity" is attested from 1854.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper