adjective \tek-ˈtä-nik\

geology : of or relating to changes in the structure of the Earth's surface

: having a large and important effect

Full Definition of TECTONIC

:  of or relating to tectonics
:  having a strong and widespread impact <a tectonic shift in voting patterns>
tec·ton·i·cal·ly \-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of TECTONIC

  1. There has been a recent tectonic shift in voting patterns.
  2. <a tectonic shift in societal trends occurred in the 1960s>

Origin of TECTONIC

Late Latin tectonicus, from Greek tektonikos of a builder, from tektōn builder — more at technical
First Known Use: 1894

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale


Next Word in the Dictionary: tectonics
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Tectona
All Words Near: tectonic

Seen & Heard

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