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[kat-uh-kley-sis, kuh-tak-luh-sis] /ˌkæt əˈkleɪ sɪs, kəˈtæk lə sɪs/
noun, Petrology.
a process of deformation or metamorphism in which the grains of a rock are fractured and rotated.
Origin of cataclasis
< Greek katáklasis refraction, equivalent to katakla-, stem of kataklân to break off, refract, break down (kata- cata- + klân to break) + -sis -sis; compare Norwegian kataklasstruktur (1885)
Related forms
[kat-uh-klas-tik] /ˌkæt əˈklæs tɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for cataclastic


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
(geology) the deformation of rocks by crushing and shearing
Derived Forms
cataclastic (ˌkætəˈklæstɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from Greek, from cata- + klasis a breaking
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cataclastic in Science
Relating to rocks consisting of cemented fragments that originate from the mechanical breakdown of rock associated with plate tectonic processes. Cataclastic rocks form in regions that have undergone intense metamorphism and are associated with other metamorphic features such as folds and faults. They typically contain bent, broken, and granular minerals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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