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[noun out-krop; verb out-krop] /noun ˈaʊtˌkrɒp; verb ˌaʊtˈkrɒp/
  1. a cropping out, as of a stratum or vein at the surface of the earth.
  2. the exposed portion of such a stratum or vein.
something that emerges suddenly or violently in the manner of an outcrop; outbreak:
an outcrop of student demonstrations.
verb (used without object), outcropped, outcropping.
to crop out, as strata.
Origin of outcrop
First recorded in 1760-70; noun use of verb phrase crop out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for outcropping
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They never noticed the little heap of specimens from the outcropping.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • I had one of the working eyes dig a cave in an outcropping of rock and wait for him.

    The Repairman Harry Harrison
  • Not long thereafter, he rounded an outcropping of rock and it lay before him.

    Wind Charles Louis Fontenay
  • But at this point, an expanse of outcropping rock baffled them completely.

    Heart of the Blue Ridge Waldron Baily
  • But the outcropping willows at least served one useful purpose.

    The Bungalow Boys Along the Yukon

    Dexter J. Forrester
  • Hendry remarks on the outcropping of coal on the north branch.

    The "Adventurers of England" on Hudson Bay

    Agnes C. (Agnes Christina) Laut
  • There must be some promontory, some outcropping of grass, behind which they could hide.

    The Flying Stingaree Harold Leland Goodwin
  • He sat on one of the outcropping boulders and took off his hat.

    The Blazed Trail Stewart Edward White
  • She was indicating an outcropping of rock on a sterile hillside.

    The Mystery of The Barranca Herman Whitaker
British Dictionary definitions for outcropping


noun (ˈaʊtˌkrɒp)
part of a rock formation or mineral vein that appears at the surface of the earth
an emergence; appearance
verb (intransitive) (ˌaʊtˈkrɒp) -crops, -cropping, -cropped
(of rock strata, mineral veins, etc) to protrude through the surface of the earth
another word for crop out
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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Word Origin and History for outcropping



1805, in geology, "exposure of rocks at the surface," from out + crop (n.) in its sense of "sprout, head."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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outcropping in Science
An area of visible bedrock that is not covered with soil.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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