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[suh b-duhk-shuh n] /səbˈdʌk ʃən/
an act or instance of subducting; subtraction or withdrawal.
Geology. the process by which collision of the earth's crustal plates results in one plate's being drawn down or overridden by another, localized along the juncture (subduction zone) of two plates.
Origin of subduction
1570-80; < Latin subductiōn-, stem of subductiō pulling up, computation; see subduct, -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for subduction
Historical Examples
  • Is not my only possible practical aim the subduction of all that is Negro in me to the American?

    The Conservation of Races W. E. Burghardt Du Bois
  • The lines with barbs show zones of underthrusting (subduction), where one plate is sliding beneath another.

    Volcanoes Robert I. Tilling
  • And from hence lastly doth arise the solidity of the section, by addition and subduction.

    The Way To Geometry Peter Ramus
  • There are three types of plate boundaries: spreading zones, transform faults, and subduction zones.

    Earthquakes Kaye M. Shedlock
  • subduction zones are found where one plate overrides, or subducts, another, pushing it downward into the mantle where it melts.

    Earthquakes Kaye M. Shedlock
British Dictionary definitions for subduction


the act of subducting, esp of turning the eye downwards
(geology) the process of one tectonic plate sliding under another, resulting in tensions and faulting in the earth's crust, with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
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 subduction

early 15c., "withdrawal, removal" (originally of noxious substances from the body), from Latin subductionem (nominative subductio), noun of action from past participle stem of subducere (see subduce). Geological sense is attested from 1970, from French (1951).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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subduction in Science
A geologic process in which one edge of one lithospheric plate is forced below the edge of another. The denser of the two plates sinks beneath the other. As it descends, the plate often generates seismic and volcanic activity (from melting and upward migration of magma) in the overriding plate. Compare obduction.

subduct verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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