Definition of tsunami in English:


nounPlural tsunamis

  • 1A long, high sea wave caused by an earthquake or other disturbance.

    ‘the loss of human lives from this latest tsunami is staggering’
    • ‘Thousands are still missing in the nine countries hit by the tsunamis.’
    • ‘When such big undersea earthquakes do strike, giant tidal waves, given the name tsunamis by the Japanese, are sure to follow.’
    • ‘The second or third wave is usually the biggest, and some tsunamis have divided into seven or more waves.’
    • ‘The tsunami was caused by an earthquake and was unrelated to climate change.’
    • ‘Earthquakes and tsunamis are not the only natural disasters in need of better forecasting.’
    • ‘Hollywood celebrities have donated large sums of money to survivors of the tsunami disaster, via some of the big relief agencies that are currently working in South Asia.’
    • ‘A tsunami is not just one wave but a series of waves, much like dropping a rock into a pool of water.’
    • ‘The majority of the damage and death came from a series of four huge tsunamis triggered by the eruption.’
    • ‘The southern coast took the main brunt of Sunday's massive earthquake-generated tsunamis.’
    • ‘Data on coastal flooding resulting from these tsunamis has been used to develop models of individual tsunamis.’
    • ‘There were no reports of damage or injuries, and the earthquake did not trigger a tsunami.’
    • ‘In the days since tsunami struck, newspaper reportage suggests a growing acknowledgement that disaster affects different groups of people differently.’
    • ‘The Asian tsunami is the greatest humanitarian disaster in recent world history.’
    • ‘More than a million children have lost their families in the tsunami.’
    • ‘Eathquakes and killer tsunamis have wreaked havoc in various parts of the world time and again.’
    • ‘Many people refer to tsunamis as tidal waves, but scientists do not use this term to describe the phenomenon.’
    • ‘Earthquakes and tsunamis of those proportions have hit us in the past as we do live in a very vulnerable part of the world, on a tectonic plate.’
    • ‘Authorities in Indonesia now believe as many as 130,000 people were killed in the Boxing Day tsunamis.’
    • ‘Another rare event that may result from a tsunami is a standing wave or seiche.’
    • ‘Other destructive historical earthquakes and tsunamis have been smaller.’
    1. 1.1 An arrival or occurrence of something in overwhelming quantities or amounts.
      ‘a tsunami of data pours into the CNBC newsroom every minute of every trading day’
      • ‘Satire finally came to the fore in American political life, unleashing a tsunami of politically-charged ridicule and invective that has changed the republic forever.’
      • ‘Disappointed customers unleashed a tsunami of emails asking, nay begging, for another chance to secure a bargain.’
      • ‘We have observed - and the unending tsunami of American Idol contestants bears this pet theory out - that every human being believes that they are a great singer.’
      • ‘The film was released just prior to the enforcement of the Hays Code and thus escaped censorship despite a veritable tsunami of erotic images and motifs.’
      • ‘There isn't enough cash to deal with tsunami of demand coming from demographic, technological and pharmaceutical sectors.’
      • ‘Step Into Liquid is a surfing documentary that offers a satisfactory amount of thrills within a tsunami of platitudes and hyperbole.’
      • ‘For both traditional and interactive agencies, buying media through these exchanges may offer a way to float RFPs and insertion orders without a tsunami of faxes, e-mails or wasted paper.’
      • ‘In the past year Walston's farm had been hit by a tsunami of animal pests unlike anything he had known in his lifetime.’
      • ‘We've been hit by a tsunami of gloom and doom.’
      • ‘With the tsunami of holiday movies comes another batch of soundtrack discs.’
      • ‘The corporate crime wave that followed the great bull market of the '90s has spawned a tsunami of its own in books and movies, critical of capitalism's greed.’
      • ‘Nothing I heard or saw on my travels offered a single, practical clue about how to turn back the global tsunami of anti-Americanism.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the company is going to face a horrible tsunami of lawsuits.’
      • ‘There's just a tsunami of books that have come out: it's that time of the year when publishers pump out whatever they consider to be noteworthy.’
      • ‘Zadie Smith's 2000 debut novel White Teeth was published to a tsunami of critical acclaim.’
      • ‘Talk to teachers today, and you'll hear about their struggle to cope with a veritable tsunami of students pouring into school each year.’
      • ‘The throng of fans filled the Royal Albert Hall with tsunamis of applause.’
      • ‘A tsunami of publicity has swept him off his feet and now he has become fleetingly notorious, courted until the interest fades.’
      • ‘Amid the tsunami of indignant emails were a couple of noteworthy contributions.’
      • ‘He looks young and damn fine in a classic three-piece blue suit and black trenchcoat, just riding that tsunami of bad 70s cinema fashion without being crushed.’


Late 19th century: from Japanese, from tsu ‘harbour’ + nami ‘wave’.