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|tidal wave |
Our Living Language : The term tidal wave is used in everyday speech to refer to a gigantic and enormously destructive wave caused by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption—what scientists would properly call a tsunami. When scientists use the word tidal wave, they normally are referring to an unusually large wave or bulge of water that sometimes occurs around a high tide. These tidal waves are certainly big and powerful, but they are tiny in comparison with tsunamis.