1. a branch of geology dealing with the classification, nomenclature, correlation, and interpretation of stratified rocks.

Origin of stratigraphy

First recorded in 1860–65; strati- + -graphy
Related formsstra·tig·ra·pher, stra·tig·ra·phist, nounstrat·i·graph·ic [strat-i-graf-ik] /ˌstræt ɪˈgræf ɪk/, strat·i·graph·i·cal, adjectivestrat·i·graph·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stratigraphic

Historical Examples of stratigraphic

  • This assumption is further backed by stratigraphic evidence provided by projectile points (table 4).

  • The success of certain paleontologists and stratigraphic specialists in oil exploration is an evidence of this situation.

  • The stratigraphic horizons favorable to their accumulation are generally recognized.

  • It is scarcely possible to summarize briefly all of the structural and stratigraphic methods used in locating the ore bodies.

  • A grouping of distinct species of fossils correlated with stratigraphic characters in the rocks determines these subdivisions.


    William Diller Matthew

British Dictionary definitions for stratigraphic


  1. the study of the composition, relative positions, etc, of rock strata in order to determine their geological historyAbbreviation: stratig
  2. archaeol a vertical section through the earth showing the relative positions of the human artefacts and therefore the chronology of successive levels of occupation
Derived Formsstratigrapher (strəˈtɪɡrəfə) or stratigraphist (strəˈtɪɡrəfɪst), nounstratigraphic (ˌstrætɪˈɡræfɪk) or stratigraphical, 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

Word Origin and History for stratigraphic



1865, from Latin strati-, comb. form of stratum (see stratum) + -graphy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stratigraphic in Medicine


  1. tomography
Related formsstrat′i•graphic (străt′ĭ-grăfĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

stratigraphic in Science


  1. The scientific study of rock strata, especially the distribution, deposition, correlation, and age of sedimentary rocks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.