bio·​stra·​tig·​ra·​phy ˌbī-ō-strə-ˈti-grə-fē How to pronounce biostratigraphy (audio)
: the identification of fossils found within sedimentary rock strata as a method of determining the relative geologic age of the rock
also : the branch of paleontology involving such identification
: the arrangement of fossils in rock strata

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Lucas has spent 30 years assembling his own Triassic timeline using biostratigraphy. Douglas Fox, Discover Magazine, 2 Apr. 2015 Paleontologists still commonly use biostratigraphy to date fossils, often in combination with paleomagnetism and tephrochronology. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 31 May 2016 Researchers also used biostratigraphy, which is the study of how fossils appear, proliferate and disappear throughout the rock record, to establish relative ages. Erin Dimaggio, Smithsonian, 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'biostratigraphy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of biostratigraphy was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near biostratigraphy

Cite this Entry

“Biostratigraphy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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