[noun out-krop; verb out-krop]


  1. a cropping out, as of a stratum or vein at the surface of the earth.
  2. the exposed portion of such a stratum or vein.
something that emerges suddenly or violently in the manner of an outcrop; outbreak: an outcrop of student demonstrations.

verb (used without object), out·cropped, out·crop·ping.

to crop out, as strata.

Origin of outcrop

First recorded in 1760–70; noun use of verb phrase crop out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for outcrop

Historical Examples of outcrop

  • In my belief, simply an outcrop of sincerity—of fidelity to mood, to impression, to self.

    Another Sheaf

    John Galsworthy

  • Somewhere in here began an outcrop of rock running east for miles.

    The Flaming Jewel

    Robert W. Chambers

  • The shelf which had caught him was the broader part of a long edge of outcrop.

    Otherwise Phyllis

    Meredith Nicholson

  • At this point an effort would be made against the outcrop of his thoughts.

    Somehow Good

    William de Morgan

  • The frequent recurrence of outcrop and angle made this comparatively easy.

    On the Frontier

    Bret Harte

British Dictionary definitions for outcrop


noun (ˈaʊtˌkrɒp)

part of a rock formation or mineral vein that appears at the surface of the earth
an emergence; appearance

verb (ˌaʊtˈkrɒp) -crops, -cropping or -cropped (intr)

(of rock strata, mineral veins, etc) to protrude through the surface of the earth
another word for crop out
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

Word Origin and History for outcrop

1805, in geology, "exposure of rocks at the surface," from out + crop (n.) in its sense of "sprout, head."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

outcrop in Science



An area of visible bedrock that is not covered with soil.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.