[ tek-ton-ik ]
See synonyms for tectonic on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to building or construction; constructive; architectural.

  2. Geology.

    • pertaining to the structure of the earth's crust.

    • referring to the forces or conditions within the earth that cause movements of the crust.

    • designating the results of such movements: tectonic valleys.

Origin of tectonic

1650–60; <Late Latin tectonicus<Greek tektonikós pertaining to construction, equivalent to tekton- (stem of téktōn) carpenter + -ikos-ic

Other words from tectonic

  • tec·ton·i·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby tectonic

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How to use tectonic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tectonic


/ (tɛkˈtɒnɪk) /

  1. denoting or relating to construction or building

  2. geology

    • (of landforms, rock masses, etc) resulting from distortion of the earth's crust due to forces within it

    • (of processes, movements, etc) occurring within the earth's crust and causing structural deformation

Origin of tectonic

C17: from Late Latin tectonicus, from Greek tektonikos belonging to carpentry, from tektōn a builder

Derived forms of tectonic

  • tectonically, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for tectonic


[ tĕk-tŏnĭk ]

  1. Relating to the forces involved in plate tectonics or the structural features resulting from them.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.