• synonyms


[soo-per-strey-tuh m, -strat-uh m, soo-per-strey-tuh m, -strat-uh m]
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noun, plural su·per·stra·ta [soo-per-strey-tuh, -strat-uh, soo-per-strey-tuh, -strat-uh] /ˈsu pərˌstreɪ tə, -ˌstræt ə, ˌsu pərˈstreɪ tə, -ˈstræt ə/, su·per·stra·tums.
  1. an overlying stratum or layer.
  2. Historical Linguistics. a set of features of a language traceable to the influence of a language formerly spoken within the same society by a dominant group: English has a Norman-French superstratum.
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Compare substratum.

Origin of superstratum

1800–10; super- + stratum; cf. substratum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for superstratum

facade, coating, surface, skin, finish, covering, appearance, cover, face, outside, shell, external, aspect, polish, rind, superficies, superstratum, exteriority

Examples from the Web for superstratum

Historical Examples of superstratum

  • After a time the superstratum of rock, which is full of cracks and seams, is undermined and precipitated into the chasm below.

    The Falls of Niagara and Other Famous Cataracts

    George W. Holley

  • Several pools, supplied by springs coming from under the superstratum of sandstone, were passed during the day.

  • They are probably kept near to the surface of the earth by a superstratum of cold air.

British Dictionary definitions for superstratum


noun plural -ta (-tə) or -tums
  1. geology a layer or stratum overlying another layer or similar structure
  2. linguistics the language of a conquering or colonizing population as it supplants that of an indigenous population, as for example French and English in the CaribbeanCompare substratum (def. 8)
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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