Definition of epicentre in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛpɪsɛntə/
(US epicenter)


1The point on the earth’s surface vertically above the focus of an earthquake.
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.1The central point of something, typically a difficult or unpleasant situation: the epicentre of labour militancy was the capital itself
More example sentences
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /ɛpɪˈsɛntr(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Buildings did remain standing even in the epicentral region at Bhuj.
  • ‘Our information is that there was a tsunami but it was rather small, of the order of one to two metres in Wewak town and it was also recorded at Karkar island, which is about 350 km to the east of the epicentral area,’ he said.
  • An overflight of the epicentral region on Wednesday afternoon by U.S. Geological Survey scientists revealed numerous small rockslides and snowslides adjacent to the fault over a 25-mile long zone east of the town of Cantwell.


Late 19th century: from Greek epikentros 'situated on a centre', from epi 'upon' + kentron 'centre'.

  • This is from Greek epikentros ‘situated on a centre’, from epi- ‘upon’ and kentron ‘centre’. It originally meant the point immediately above an earthquake, but has been used as an emphatic form of ‘centre’ since at least 1970.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: epi|centre

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