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[vol-kan-ik] /vɒlˈkæn ɪk/
of or relating to a volcano:
a volcanic eruption.
discharged from or produced by volcanoes:
volcanic mud.
characterized by the presence of volcanoes:
a volcanic area.
suggestive of or resembling a volcano; potentially explosive; volatile:
a volcanic temper.
Origin of volcanic
1765-75; volcan(o) + -ic; compare French volcanique
Related forms
volcanically, adverb
[vol-kuh-nis-i-tee] /ˌvɒl kəˈnɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nonvolcanic, adjective
semivolcanic, adjective
semivolcanically, adverb
unvolcanic, adjective
unvolcanically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for volcanic
  • Most were subsequently found alive after having become hopelessly lost in dense underbrush and rugged volcanic terrain.
  • volcanic ash does not mix well with jet engines, hence the disruption.
  • Our first article examines the science of volcanic emissions.
  • There are two sorts of volcanic eruptions, explosive and effusive.
  • With idyllic beaches, volcanic hills and plentiful cocoa, the new president may even be able make good his promise.
  • Historically, large volcanic eruptions have caused discernible global cooling.
  • The character of an eruption is based on the prehistoric and historic record of the volcano in question and its volcanic products.
  • Whether volcanic or nuclear, disasters anywhere in our interconnected world affect us all.
  • Active life only exists where there's the possibility of energy exchange, such as in sunlight or near undersea volcanic vents.
  • Question two is true if the mountains in question are volcanic in nature, especially cinder cones.
British Dictionary definitions for volcanic


of, relating to, produced by, or characterized by the presence of volcanoes: a volcanic region
suggestive of or resembling an erupting volcano: a volcanic era
another word for extrusive (sense 2)
Derived Forms
volcanically, adverb
volcanicity (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
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Word Origin and History for volcanic

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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