[noun out-krop; verb out-krop]
See more synonyms for outcrop on Thesaurus.com
  1. Geology.
    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.
  2. 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.
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for outcropping

Contemporary Examples of outcropping

Historical Examples of outcropping

  • They never noticed the little heap of specimens from the outcropping.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • I had one of the working eyes dig a cave in an outcropping of rock and wait for him.

    The Repairman

    Harry Harrison

  • Not long thereafter, he rounded an outcropping of rock and it lay before him.


    Charles Louis Fontenay

  • But at this point, an expanse of outcropping rock baffled them completely.

  • But the outcropping willows at least served one useful purpose.

British Dictionary definitions for outcropping


noun (ˈaʊtˌkrɒp)
  1. part of a rock formation or mineral vein that appears at the surface of the earth
  2. an emergence; appearance
verb (ˌaʊtˈkrɒp) -crops, -cropping or -cropped (intr)
  1. (of rock strata, mineral veins, etc) to protrude through the surface of the earth
  2. 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 outcropping



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

outcropping in Science


  1. 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.