Lau·​ren·​tia lȯ-ˈren(t)-sh(ē-)ə How to pronounce Laurentia (audio)
: a land mass that was an independent continent about 500 million years ago and that currently includes Greenland and a large part of the North American continent
He explained that east of the Hudson River, the geology can get fairly mixed up. Many of the rocks there were produced by a huge collision of tectonic plates about 450 million years ago, called the tectonic orogeny, that sent an arc of islands crashing into the eastern coast of North America or, more correctly, Laurentia.James Gorman, New York Times, 16 Nov. 2001
The large blue area in the figure is roughly coincident with Laurentia, the predecessor of the present North American continent.Suzan van der Lee, Science, 9 Nov. 2001

Word History

First Known Use

1903, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Laurentia was in 1903

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Cite this Entry

“Laurentia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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