Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A wave that oscillates in lakes, bays, or gulfs from a few minutes to a few hours as a result of seismic or atmospheric disturbances.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short-period standing wave oscillation of the water level in a lake, characteristic of its geometry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given in Switzerland, and especially on the Lake of Geneva, to certain irregular waves or fluctuations of the level of the water, which may be raised or lowered to the amount of several feet.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a wave on the surface of a lake or landlocked bay; caused by atmospheric or seismic disturbances

Etymologies

French dialectal, exposed lake bottom, probably from French sèche, feminine of sec, dry; see sec1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Swiss French seiche, perhaps from German Seiche ("sinking"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A seiche is the sloshing of a closed body of water from earthquake shaking.

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  • It is famed for having touched off a full-scale tsunami - more correctly known as a seiche - with huge waves crashing all the way across the lake.

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  • Most important would be Chicago, or what was left of Chicago after the seiche in Lake Michigan had produced a tidal wave effect and destroyed much of the city proper.

    Total War

  • Gardes-Tamine, Joëlle, Saint-John Perse ou La stratégie de la seiche.

    Saint-John Perse - Bibliography

  • The last subject discussed by the author is that of the rhythmical variations of level, or "seiches," of deep lakes; he applies the usual formula to Lake Tahoe, and calculates from it the length of a complete longitudinal and of a transverse "seiche;" these are found to be eighteen or nineteen minutes in the first case and thirteen minutes in the second.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 433, April 19, 1884

  • Trois gouttes de ce laict dessus la seiche cendre, 50

    Aux cendres de Claude Colet

  • _Cotgrave_ (1611), _Ruade seiche_, a drie bob, jeast or nip.

    The Works of Aphra Behn Volume IV.

  • Happy 173rd Birthday, Chicago! seiche caused by severe thunderstorms.

    Tailgate

  • But don't worry: today's seiche should be less than a foot tall.

    Tailgate

  • Even if it was historically mild, the weather pattern Dave mentioned yesterday still managed to wreak a bit of havoc at the lake shore. seiche caused by severe thunderstorms.

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