• synonyms


[kat-uh-kley-sis, kuh-tak-luh-sis]
noun Petrology.
  1. a process of deformation or metamorphism in which the grains of a rock are fractured and rotated.
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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 formscat·a·clas·tic [kat-uh-klas-tik] /ˌkæt əˈklæs tɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for cataclastic


noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. geology the deformation of rocks by crushing and shearing
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Derived Formscataclastic (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

cataclastic in Science


  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.