[ krey-ton ]

  1. 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

Words Nearby craton Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use craton in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for craton


/ (ˈkreɪtən) /

  1. 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 years: See shield (def. 7)

Origin of craton

C20: from Greek kratos strength

Derived forms of craton

  • cratonic (krəˈtɒnɪk), adjective

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

Scientific definitions for craton


[ krātŏn′ ]

  1. 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.