• synonyms


  1. a branch of geology dealing with the classification, nomenclature, correlation, and interpretation of stratified rocks.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stratigraphy

Historical Examples of stratigraphy

  • It must always be remembered that the evidence is primarily one of stratigraphy.

    Man, Past and Present

    Agustus Henry Keane

  • A medal was awarded for a sheet of thirteen sections illustrating the stratigraphy of Vermont and New Hampshire.

  • Stratigraphy and paleontology are concerned with the sedimentary and life history of the earth.

  • The latter paper should be carefully read by all students of the stratigraphy of the Lower Palozoic Rocks.

  • He made original and important observations on stratification, and laid down some of the fundamental axioms in stratigraphy.

British Dictionary definitions for stratigraphy


  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
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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 stratigraphy


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stratigraphy in Medicine


  1. tomography
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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.

stratigraphy in Science


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