Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

plate tectonics

noun plural but singular in construction

Simple Definition of plate tectonics

  • geology : a scientific theory that the Earth's surface is made of very large sections that move very slowly; also : the movements of the large sections that form the Earth's surface

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of plate tectonics

  1. 1 :  a theory in geology: the lithosphere of the earth is divided into a small number of plates which float on and travel independently over the mantle and much of the earth's seismic activity occurs at the boundaries of these plates

  2. 2 :  the process and dynamics of tectonic plate movement; also :  a similar process on a body other than earth

plate–tectonic adjective

1969

First Known Use of plate tectonics

1969


Learn More about plate tectonics


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up plate tectonics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

immature or lacking adult sophistication

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin oily angry prompt
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ