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1. The point on the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake.
2. The focal point of a usually harmful or unpleasant phenomenon or event; the center: stood at the epicenter of the international crisis.

ep′i·cen′tral adj.
Usage Note: Epicenter is properly a geological term identifying the point of the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake. No doubt this is why the Usage Panel approves of figurative extensions of its use in dangerous, destructive, or negative contexts. In our 2008 survey, 74 percent accepted the sentence identifying a country as the epicenter for terrorist financing. The Panel is less fond but still accepting of epicenter when it is used to refer to the focal point of neutral or positive events. Fifty percent approved of the word in a sentence identifying New York City as the epicenter of European immigration. These percentages are both down a little from those in our 1996 survey, but not significantly.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Around 100 reports from members of the public in the epicentral area have been received so far and many others have taken to social media to report their experience," a BGS spokeswoman said.
The Company's solutions are designed from the ground up ased on customer requirements and are sold under the BOHA!, EPICENTRAL, Epic, Ithaca, RESPONDER and Printrex brands.
Nevertheless, according to Smalley (2009), for magnitude 6 earthquakes, 1 Hz GNSS time series of dynamic displacements at very small epicentral distances are aliased.
These networks provide the data in wave-form (analog form) along with the detail of the record (date, time, magnitude, epicentral distance, latitude-longitude, style of faulting and the site condition of all the records).
The earthquake caused landslides and large fissures in the mountain areas of the epicentral area.
Here, D is the epicentral distance, [V.sub.P] is the P-wave velocity, [V.sub.S] is the S-wave velocity, and [T.sub.ps] is the P-S time.
Its spatial response is maximum at MO05, the closest station to the epicentral area.
We use the distinct P-wave displacement observed at 36 stations with epicentral distances between 30[degrees] and 90[degrees] (Table 2).
The obviously most important regional type of hazard to which the selected site is exposed (just as the other HPP sites downstream) is the one related to earthquakes: the site is located at 100 km in the southwest of the epicentral zone of the catastrophic 1949 Khait earthquake, and at 300-350 km in the West of the 1911 Sarez earthquake (see summary of events in Havenith and Bourdeau [3]).