strat·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌstra-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce stratification (audio) \

Definition of stratification

1a : the act or process of stratifying
b : the state of being stratified
2 : a stratified formation

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If you look for it, you'll find stratification almost everywhere. On a tall rain-forest tree, there may be different air plants clinging to it, different insects crawling on it, and different mammals making their homes at different levels. The earth beneath you may be stratified into several distinctive layers within the first 20 feet. If the wind you're feeling is moving at 10 miles per hour, at 30 feet above your head it may be 20 mph, and in the jet stream above that it may be 150 mph. If you climb a high mountain in Himalayas, you may begin in a lush, wet forest and end up in a windswept environment where not even lichen will grow.

Examples of stratification in a Sentence

the stratification of the Earth's crust
Recent Examples on the Web Such stratification already occurs in many chemical markets surrounding the purity of material, with high-purity grades commanding premiums. Jeremy Pafford, Forbes, 30 June 2022 The top luxury groups across the board are shrugging off the war in Ukraine and a stock market meltdown, pointing to a stratification in spending between the wealthy and the mere mass affluent. Tiffany Ap, Quartz, 18 June 2022 And even the peculiar prejudices of the island became grist for the mill once Booster read Austen’s novel and realized that her story of social stratification would map neatly onto his own experiences. New York Times, 3 June 2022 Elements of urban life—clubs, cultural diversity, and class stratification—were all fuel for the disco inferno. Camille Squires, Quartz, 13 Mar. 2022 Helou and Recinos ramped up their projects during the pandemic, as East Hollywood’s stratification became even more pronounced. Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2022 The implications of these choices, and the resulting stratification of policies will likely ripple through the world of finance and out to Main Street in the coming months. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 12 Apr. 2022 In addition to the political stratification across the district, candidates have to deal with the bias some suburban voters feel toward Chicago candidates. John Byrne,, 11 Apr. 2022 Pierre Bourdieu, whose work focused on social stratification and social reproduction, was one of the first sociologists to write about social capital. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of stratification

circa 1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for stratification

Time Traveler

The first known use of stratification was circa 1617

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Dictionary Entries Near stratification



stratificational grammar

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Statistics for stratification

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stratification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for stratification


strat·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌstrat-ə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce stratification (audio) \

Medical Definition of stratification

: arrangement or formation in layers or strata stratification of epithelial cells


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