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cutaway of an erupting volcano
n. pl. vol·ca·noes or vol·ca·nos
a. An opening in the earth's crust from which lava, ash, and hot gases flow or are ejected during an eruption.
b. A similar opening on the surface of another celestial object.
2. A usually cone-shaped mountain formed from the materials issuing from such an opening.
[Italian, from Spanish volcán or Portuguese volcão, both probably from Latin volcānus, vulcānus, fire, flames, from Volcānus, Vulcan.]
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.
the phenomena connected with volcanoes and volcanic activity. Also vulcanism. — volcanist, n.
Geology. the scientific study of volcanoes and volcanic phenomena. Also vulcanology. — volcanologist, n. — volcanologic, volcanological, adj.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.