out·​crop | \ ˈau̇t-ˌkräp How to pronounce outcrop (audio) \

Definition of outcrop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a coming out of bedrock or of an unconsolidated deposit to the surface of the ground
2 : the part of a rock formation that appears at the surface of the ground


out·​crop | \ ˈau̇t-ˌkräp How to pronounce outcrop (audio) , ˌau̇t-ˈkräp\
outcropped; outcropping; outcrops

Definition of outcrop (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to project from the surrounding soil ledges outcropping from the eroded slope
2 : to come to the surface : appear

Examples of outcrop in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hatidze, a Turkish immigrant in her 60s living in Macedonia, climbs up a mountain in a mostly uninhabited part of the country to collect honey from beehives that naturally form within the rocky outcrops. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Honeyland Makes the Story of a Lonely Beekeeper Feel Epic," 25 July 2019 Set on a small coral outcrop that was once the site of a fisherman’s post, this jewel-like restaurant is surrounded by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "The world’s best waterfront restaurants promise more than a view," 23 July 2019 Posbury has been occupied since the Iron Age, and centuries later, a quarry was opened to take advantage of a prized natural resource on the volcanic outcrop: hard basalt stone. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Would You Like to Buy an Extinct Volcano?," 2 Aug. 2019 Today, rock climbers from across the country test themselves on more than 800 technical climbing routes up the area’s outcrops of 1.4-million-year-old Sherman granite. Dina Mishev, Washington Post, "Cheyenne," 10 July 2019 But a 2018 paper, also in Nature, contended that the rock outcrop preserves no signs of life. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "Are the Oldest Fossils Real - Or Just Rocks?," 7 May 2019 In August 2016, a research team claimed to have unearthed evidence of life in a remote outcrop of 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland. Quanta Magazine, "World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks," 22 Oct. 2018 Today, rock climbers from across the country test themselves on more than 800 technical climbing routes up the area's outcrops of 1.4-million-year-old Sherman granite. Dina Mishev, Dallas News, "In Cheyenne, the Wild West hasn't been totally tamed," 16 July 2019 The woman signaled toward a rocky outcrop in the straits. New York Times, "She Was Duped and Shipped to a Brothel at 16. Then the Boat Sank.," 10 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On the evening of January 28, 1918, fifteen unarmed men and boys were rounded up and roped together by Texas Rangers and local ranchers, then led to a rock outcropping in the desert and shot dead. Steve Anderson, The New York Review of Books, "Another Forgotten Atrocity," 6 June 2019 In Topanga State Park, hike up to Eagle Rock—a massive sandstone outcropping nearly 2,000 feet above sea level—for panoramic views. Rico Gagliano, WSJ, "3 Quick Escapes From Los Angeles," 1 Aug. 2018 But here Bidwell starts to feel wilder, as the Maidu and Middle and Upper Trails branch off into the foothills and toward the rock outcropping known as Monkey Face, and other trails dip into the dense riparian growth along Big Chico Creek. Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle, "Best secrets of small-town Chico’s big city park," 16 Mar. 2018 Shovels and Rope is a cool rockabilly outcropping of that movement. NOLA.com, "See the slew of excellent concerts coming up in New Orleans," 18 Jan. 2018 The petroglyphs were rediscovered after an 1881 wildfire devastated much of the region and burned off the vegetation that had covered the sandstone outcropping. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Vandal defaces historic Sanilac Petroglyphs carved by Great Lakes native Americans," 8 Sep. 2017 The trail through the preserve ends at a huge granite outcropping with the must-see expansive view of the marshes of Selden Creek and the 600-acre Selden Neck State Park — the largest island along the 410-mile-long Connecticut River. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Preserving Land And Trailblazing In Hadlyme," 2 Sep. 2017 Between 1916 and 1972 sculptors created three huge bas-relief images of Lee, Davis and Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson on the side of Stone Mountain, an 80-story-high rock outcropping in Atlanta’s eastern suburbs. Rick Hampson, USA TODAY, "America's 'Confederate infrastructure:' Too big to hide, move or raze," 17 Aug. 2017 Keep reading here, as Brannen explores the geological record of that moment: a rock outcropping in central Wyoming. Rosa Inocencio Smith, The Atlantic, "The Atlantic Daily: Don Jr.'s Email Evidence," 11 July 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of outcrop


1805, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about outcrop

Statistics for outcrop

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outcrop

The first known use of outcrop was in 1805

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on outcrop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outcrop

Spanish Central: Translation of outcrop

Nglish: Translation of outcrop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about outcrop

Comments on outcrop

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!