• synonyms


[sing-klahyn, sin-]
noun Geology.
  1. a synclinal fold.
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Origin of syncline

First recorded in 1870–75; back formation from synclinal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for syncline

Historical Examples

  • "The porphyry dykes here are in syncline," the engineer went on.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • When the arch is reversed, like this , it is called a syncline.

  • Looking north from the Central Downs over the Solent we are looking at a syncline.

  • There each mountain-ridge corresponds to an anticline, and each valley to a syncline, or trough-shaped arrangement of strata.

  • The whole mountain is part of a syncline, the beds dipping into it from the north-west and south-east.

British Dictionary definitions for syncline


  1. a downward fold of stratified rock in which the strata slope towards a vertical axisCompare anticline
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Derived Formssynclinal, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from syn- + Greek klīnein to lean
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 syncline


1873, back-formation from synclinal.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

syncline in Science


  1. A fold of rock layers that slope upward on both sides of a common low point. Synclines form when rocks are compressed by plate-tectonic forces. They can be as small as the side of a cliff or as large as an entire valley. Compare anticline.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.