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[strat-uh-fahy] /ˈstræt əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), stratified, stratifying.
to form or place in strata or layers.
to preserve or germinate (seeds) by placing them between layers of earth.
Sociology. to arrange in a hierarchical order, especially according to graded status levels.
verb (used without object), stratified, stratifying.
to form strata.
Geology. to lie in beds or layers.
Sociology. to develop hierarchically, especially as graded status levels.
Origin of stratify
1655-65; modeled on New Latin strātificāre, equivalent to strāti- strati- + -ficāre -fy
Related forms
de-stratify, verb (used with object), de-stratified, de-stratifying.
multistratified, adjective
nonstratified, adjective
semistratified, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stratify
Historical Examples
  • It will stratify, and force itself onward through the adjacent and opposing atmosphere, and in a right line.

    The Philosophy of the Weather Thomas Belden Butler
  • But already the Mississippi Valley was beginning to stratify, both socially and geographically.

    The Frontier in American History

    Frederick Jackson Turner
  • A gas, as explained, is of such a character that it remains fixed and will not stratify or condense.

    Motors James Slough Zerbe
  • Society will stratify itself according to the laws of social gravitation.

    A Mortal Antipathy Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
British Dictionary definitions for stratify


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
to form or be formed in layers or strata
(transitive) to preserve or render fertile (seeds) by storing between layers of sand or earth
(sociol) to divide (a society) into horizontal status groups or (of a society) to develop such groups
Derived Forms
stratified, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French stratifier, from New Latin stratificāre, from Latin stratum
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 stratify

1660s, from French stratifier, from Modern Latin stratificare, from stratum (see stratum). Related: Stratified; stratifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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