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).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More