[ krey-ton ]
/ ˈkreɪ tɒn /

noun Geology.

a relatively rigid and immobile region of continental portions of the earth's crust.

Origin of craton

1940–45; < German Kraton, based on Greek krátos power; cf. -cracy, -on2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for craton


/ (ˈkreɪtən) /


geology a stable part of the earth's continental crust or lithosphere that has not been deformed significantly for many millions, even hundreds of millions, of yearsSee shield (def. 7)

Derived Forms

cratonic (krəˈtɒnɪk), adjective

Word Origin for craton

C20: from Greek kratos strength
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

Science definitions for craton


[ krātŏn′ ]

A large portion of a continental plate that has been relatively undisturbed since the Precambrian era and includes both shield and platform layers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.