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epicenter

or (especially British) epicentre

[ep-uh-sen-ter] /ˈɛp əˌsɛn tər/
noun
1.
Also, epicentrum. 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.
Origin of epicenter
1885-1890
1885-90; < New Latin epicentrum < Greek epíkentros on the center. See epi-, center
Related forms
epicentral, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for epicentral
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the epicentral area, the sound that accompanied the earthquake was remarkable for its extraordinary loudness.

  • Chhatak, where this is situated, lies close to the southern boundary of the epicentral area.

  • Somewhat similar methods were employed by Mr. Oldham in the absence of seismographs from the epicentral area.

  • Violent as the shock was at the places just mentioned, it must have been still greater in certain parts of the epicentral area.

  • The centre of its epicentral area must therefore lie about three miles south-east of Hereford.

  • Fig. 28 shows the epicentral isoseismals as they are drawn by Mr. Earle Sloan.

Word Origin and History for epicentral

epicenter

n.

1887, from Modern Latin epicentrum (1879 in geological use); see epi- + center. Related: Epicentral (1866).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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epicentral in Science
epicenter
  (ěp'ĭ-sěn'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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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