When the earth's crust cracks open and spews hot lava and gases, you've got a volcano on your hands. You better run.

The noun volcano comes from the name of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan. The Romans believed Vulcan had a forge in Mt. Etna, a volcano in Italy. The term can be applied to a vent in a planet's surface or crust. Lava, ash, and gas escape through the vent. The term volcano can also apply to a mountain created by such a vent.

Definitions of volcano
  1. noun
    a fissure in the earth's crust (or in the surface of some other planet) through which molten lava and gases erupt
    synonyms: vent
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    type of:
    cleft, crack, crevice, fissure, scissure
    a long narrow opening
  2. noun
    a mountain formed by volcanic material
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    show 27 examples...
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    Mount Asama
    a volcano in central Honshu near Nagano; one of the largest volcanoes in Japan (8,340 feet)
    Mount Pinatubo
    a volcano on Luzon to the northwest of Manila; erupted in 1991 after 600 years of dormancy
    an inactive volcano in western Cameroon; highest peak on the West African coast
    Pico de Orizaba
    an extinct volcano in southern Mexico between Mexico City and Veracruz; the highest peak in Mexico (18,695 feet)
    Nevado de Colima
    an active volcano in southwestern Mexico
    an Andean volcano in northern Ecuador; last erupted in 1955
    the world's largest active volcano; located in the Andes in north central Ecuador
    an active volcano in northern Iran
    El Misti
    the world's 2nd largest active volcano; located in the Andes in southern Peru
    Mount Etna
    an inactive volcano in Sicily; last erupted in 1961; the highest volcano in Europe (10,500 feet)
    a volcano in south central Guatemala
    an extinct volcano in south central Honshu that is the highest peak in Japan; last erupted in 1707; famous for its symmetrical snow-capped peak; a sacred mountain and site for pilgrimages
    an active volcano in southeastern Colombia in the Andes
    the world's highest volcano; in the Andes in northern Chile; last erupted in 1959
    an inactive volcano in the Andes in southern Peru; last erupted in 1783
    an inactive volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula; last erupted in 1946
    a small volcanic island in Indonesia between Java and Sumatra; its violent eruption in 1883 was the greatest in recorded history
    a volcano in the Andes in Chile
    Mauna Kea
    an active volcano on north central Hawaii Island; highest peak in the Hawaiian Islands
    Mauna Loa
    an active volcano on south central Hawaii Island
    an active volcano in eastern Congo
    an active volcano in eastern Congo
    an inactive volcano in the Andes in southern Colombia; last erupted in 1950
    an inactive volcano in the Andes in central Ecuador; last erupted in 1946
    an inactive volcano in central Chile; last erupted in 1959
    Mount Saint Helens
    an active volcano in the Cascade Range in southwestern Washington; erupted violently in 1980 after 123 years of inactivity
    Mount Vesuvius
    a volcano in southwestern Italy on the Mediterranean coast; a Plinian eruption in 79 AD buried Pompeii and killed Pliny the Elder; last erupted in 1944
    type of:
    mount, mountain
    a land mass that projects well above its surroundings; higher than a hill
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