seismic shift

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An allusion to the drastic change to the landscape caused by a massive earthquake.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

seismic shift (plural seismic shifts)

  1. (idiomatic) A fundamental reorientation of a state of affairs.
    • 1958, Waldo Frank, "Mexico" in The Romance of North America (Hardwick Moseley, ed.), Houghton Mifflin, p. 127 (Google snippet view):
      The seismic shift in Mexico began in 1810 with the movement toward independence from Spain.
    • 1999 Dec. 6, Eamon Phoenix, "Peace Is Breaking Out," Time (retrieved 19 May 2015):
      For the republican movement, the acceptance of seats in a "partitionist" Assembly signaled a seismic shift in historical attitudes since the division of Ireland in 1921.
    • 2007 Dec. 10, "Most Important of 2007," Businessweek (retrieved 19 May 2015):
      [T]he U.S. could be on the verge of a seismic shift, where it is possible to envision a time when it will no longer be the dominant economic superpower.
    • 2011 Feb. 5, "The Aging of America," New York Times (retrieved 19 May 2015):
      Baby boomers began turning 65 in January, heralding a seismic shift in demographics worldwide.

Usage notes[edit]

Synonyms[edit]