moonquake n.

seismic activity on the surface of the Moon or (broadly) of any moon


  • 1847 Judy (vol. 1) 129/1 page image

    His Lordship discovered a monstrous eruption on the chief promontory in the Moon…. He observed likewise an unsteadiness in the whole, a sort of reeling as if the orb was agitated by a moonquake.

  • 1848 The Count I. xviii. 296 page image

    We felt a sudden tremulous motion, which seemed at least, to threaten us with a Moonquake; or some other equally unusual phenomenon in our altitude.

  • 1896 J. Cowan Daybreak 25 page image

    Some time before morning we were roused by a violent shaking of the ground beneath us, which startles us beyond expression. ‘What’s that?’ I exclaimed. ‘That feels very much like a moonquake,’ replied my companion.

  • 1928 E. L. Bell Moon of Doom in Amazing Stories Quarterly Winter 41/1 page image Earl Leaston Bell bibliography

    The moonquake will be of indeterminable duration, and it is then that our fate will hang in the balance. The severity of the shocks will about dislodge the mountains, and it is almost certain that the undermined parts of the ranges will cave in.

  • 1940 N. Schachner Runaway Cargo in Astounding Science-Fiction Oct. 94/1 page image Nat Schachner bibliography

    Some pockets close to the surface got exposed. A moonquake, mebbe; a big meteor; or mebbe just plain erosion.

  • 1955 P. Anderson Snows of Ganymede in Startling Stories Winter 50/2 page image Poul Anderson bibliography

    Some of the lead blocks in front of the reactor had slipped, perhaps in one of the frequent moonquakes caused by the tidal pull of Jupiter.

  • 1970 I. Asimov Waterclap in Worlds of If Apr. iii. 18/2 page image Isaac Asimov bibliography

    As a safety engineer…I can’t afford to believe in luck and breaks. We cannot stop Moonquakes or large meteorites out at Luna City but we are designed to minimize the effects even of those.

  • 1996 A. Julian Blowup in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 12 page image Astrid Julian bibliography

    A static discharge near one of the transmission lines from the nuclear generator has knocked out a relay somewhere. We haven’t figured out if a moonquake ripped a grounding cable loose or what.

  • 2009 B. Stableford Great Armada in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr.–May 44 page image Brian Stableford bibliography

    He initiated a moonquake that blasted the doors from all the cells in which prisoners were held.

Research requirements

antedating 1847

Last modified 2022-09-29 22:05:45
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.