Definition of epicenter in English:


(British epicentre)

Pronunciation /ˈepəˌsen(t)ər/ /ˈɛpəˌsɛn(t)ər/


  • 1The point on the earth's surface vertically above the focus of an earthquake.

    • ‘The most persuasive evidence for the existence of subduction zones is the narrow Benioff zones of earthquake epicentres dipping away from deep-sea trenches.’
    • ‘The geographic point directly above the focus is called the earthquake epicenter.’
    • ‘The water shifted above a quake does not move across the ocean, i.e. a log floating at the surface above the epicentre would not have been carried to Thailand or Somalia.’
    • ‘The area is an epicentre for earthquakes caused by tectonic plates moving apart.’
    • ‘Another perhaps useful notion here is that of earthquakes having epicentres and aftershocks.’
    • ‘The British Geological Survey said the epicentre of the earthquake - the largest to hit Britain for ten years - was ‘right under Birmingham’.’
    • ‘She recalled an investigation from a couple of years back, when they discovered themselves at the epicentre of an earth tremor, the largest the country had seen for years.’
    • ‘Relief workers arrived to find devastation in the region closest to the epicenter of the earthquake that spawned the killer tsunami.’
    • ‘The pair have been helping people on an island off North Sumatra, the closest inhabited area to the epicentre of the earthquake, which was ravaged by the deadly waves.’
    • ‘The death-toll lag has come from the country nearest the underwater epicenter of the earthquake, Indonesia.’
    • ‘The point nearest to the surface is the epicentre and marks the site where the quake is strongest.’
    • ‘Police feared the number of casualties could rise even further once authorities reach remote areas, including a tiny island closest to the epicentre of the earthquake, which struck on Sunday night.’
    • ‘The area was the closest to the epicentre of the earthquake, bore the full brunt of the subsequent tsunami and was clearly one of the worst affected areas.’
    • ‘Its epicenter, the location on the earth's surface directly above the quake, was at Duck Creek.’
    • ‘The epicenter of the earthquake was on land - unlike last month's quake - and caused no tsunami.’
    • ‘This was the area that was orientated directly towards the epicenter of the earthquake, and therefore to the tsunami.’
    • ‘We did an investigation a couple of years back, finding ourselves right at the epicentre of a minor earthquake, one of the largest the country had seen for years.’
    • ‘By the time the rain woke me the next morning my stomach rumbled like the epicentre of an earthquake and I realized I had no choice but to take destiny into my own hands.’
    • ‘A Royal Navy survey ship has been sent to investigate the epicentre of the underwater earthquake which created the disastrous tsunami in the Indian Ocean.’
    • ‘The epicentre of that earthquake was about 20 kms north of Napier, on the opposite side of the North Island.’
    1. 1.1The central point of something, typically a difficult or unpleasant situation.
      ‘the patient was at the epicenter of concern’
      • ‘By the late 1980s and 1990s, however, there had been a shift in the epicenter of concern about ecology.’
      • ‘And at the epicentre of the military build-up is it's air base.’
      • ‘The epicentre of military action, and therefore, of military losses, in the European war was the German - Soviet war.’
      • ‘But round these parts eating is only a warm-up for the main event, as I discover when we later descend into the teeming lanes around Concert Square, epicentre of Liverpool nightlife.’


Late 19th century from Greek epikentros ‘situated on a center’, from epi ‘upon’ + kentron ‘center’.



/ˈepəˌsen(t)ər/ /ˈɛpəˌsɛn(t)ər/