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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Did You Know?

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 The social stratification in Windhoek stems from a bloody history, beginning with German colonial settlement in 1884 and the subsequent 1904–1908 genocide against the Herero and Nama peoples. Arthur Longworth, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, April 6–12," 12 Apr. 2020 In principle, this stratification of Roman society was performed every five years. Andrew Whitby, Wired, "A Brief History of the Census—and How Covid-19 Could Change It," 1 Apr. 2020 His keen observation of societal stratification leads him to suppress his accent and dye golden highlights into his hair. Joan Gaylord, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Amnesty’ sets up a moral dilemma for an immigrant living in the shadows," 29 Apr. 2020 What an exciting time to think about class stratification! Margaret Lyons, New York Times, "Watch This: ‘Glow’ and ‘Damages’," 8 Apr. 2020 This will also likely require some measures based on risk stratification. Rich Lesser, Fortune, "6 steps to sustainably flatten the coronavirus curve," 19 Mar. 2020 Whatever problems existed in the system were in some part the result of ever more layers of corporate stratification and remove from what was happening within the actual community. Ginia Bellafante, New York Times, "How an Education Visionary Got Canceled," 10 Feb. 2020 But the company has fair-wage problems, with one analysis showing that half of its employees made less than minimum wage, which contributes to larger structural economic problems like social stratification. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "Grocery Delivery Trades Community for Convenience," 21 Feb. 2020 Bong's work, like that of fellow winner Nyong'o, is an examination of social stratification and violence through an upstairs-downstairs tale that The Irishman producer Jane Rosenthal found a must-watch this year. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, "Tarantino, Scorsese Tease Reviewers, Thank Netflix at N.Y. Film Critics Circle Awards," 8 Jan. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for stratification

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stratification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce stratification (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stratification

: the state of being divided into social classes
technical : the state of having many layers


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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