- a layer of material, naturally or artificially formed, often one of a number of parallel layers one upon another: a stratum of ancient foundations.
- one of a number of portions or divisions likened to layers or levels: an allegory with many strata of meaning.
- Geology. a single bed of sedimentary rock, generally consisting of one kind of matter representing continuous deposition.
- Biology. a layer of tissue; lamella.
- Ecology. (in a plant community) a layer of vegetation, usually of the same or similar height.
- a layer of the ocean or the atmosphere distinguished by natural or arbitrary limits.
- Sociology. a level or grade of a people or population with reference to social position, education, etc.: the lowest stratum of society.
- Linguistics. (in stratificational grammar) a major subdivision of linguistic structure.Compare level(def 17).
Origin of stratum
Related Words for stratumlamina, sheet, level, grade, stratification, gradation, thickness, lode, bed, seam, vein
Examples from the Web for stratum
Contemporary Examples of stratum
But their young deputies and ministerial director generals tended to be from this recently-returned, Western-educated stratum.A Ray of Light in Islamist Gloom
July 17, 2012
Historical Examples of stratum
The other stratum of McClellanism (p. 191) is composed of intriguers.Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863
The "blue lead" is a stratum of blue clay very rich in gold.Hittel on Gold Mines and Mining
John S. Hittell
In this genus the stratum of the pores is not easily separated from the cap.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
Nobody but Alston, in their stratum at least, had come in person.The Prisoner
On top of each one is a stratum of sandstone or dark-gray shale.Diggers in the Earth
Eva March Tappan
- (usually plural) any of the distinct layers into which sedimentary rocks are divided
- biology a single layer of tissue or cells
- a layer of any material, esp one of several parallel layers
- a layer of ocean or atmosphere either naturally or arbitrarily demarcated
- a level of a social hierarchy that is distinguished according to such criteria as educational achievement or caste status
Word Origin for stratum
Word Origin and History for stratum
"horizontal layer," 1590s, from Modern Latin stratum, special use of Latin stratum "thing spread out, coverlet, pavement," from neuter past participle of sternere "to spread out, lay down, stretch out," from PIE *stre-to- "to stretch, extend," from root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)).
- A horizontal layer of material, especially one of several parallel layers arranged one on top of another.
- Any of the layers of differentiated tissue forming an anatomical structure.
- A layer of sedimentary rock whose composition is more or less the same throughout and that is visibly different from the rock layers above and below it.
- A layer of tissue, as of the skin or another organ.