from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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 The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[French dialectal, exposed lake bottom, probably from French sèche, feminine of sec, dry; see sec.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Swiss French seiche, perhaps from German Seiche ("sinking").


  • 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.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

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

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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.


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



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  • Does seiche rhyme with geas?

    November 13, 2015

  • Ooh! I have no idea, but now I really want to know too--there's great potential for some poem with a sea-bear in it.

    November 13, 2015

  • What Is a Seiche?, NOAA

    Seiches and meteotsunamis. What's the difference?

    Seiches and meteotsunamis are often grouped together, but they are two different events. Winds and atmospheric pressure can contribute to the formation of both seiches and meteotsunamis; however, winds are typically more important to a seiche motion, while pressure often plays a substantial role in meteotsunami formation. Sometimes a seiche and a meteotsunami can even occur at the same time. Seiches are standing waves with longer periods of water-level oscillations (typically exceeding periods of three or more hours), whereas meteotsunamis are progressive waves limited to the tsunami frequency band of wave periods (two minutes to two hours). Seiches are usually limited to partially or fully enclosed basins, such as Lake Erie. Meteotsunamis can occur in such basins but are also prevalent on the open coast. A single meteotsunami can travel long distances and influence a very large range of the coastline.


    October 30, 2018