Definition of stratum
strataplay \ˈstrā-tə, ˈstra-\
1 : a bed or layer artificially made
2a : a sheetlike mass of sedimentary rock or earth of one kind lying between beds of other kindsb : a region of the sea or atmosphere that is analogous to a stratum of the earthc : a layer of tissue deep stratum of the skind : a layer in which archaeological material (such as artifacts, skeletons, and dwelling remains) is found on excavation
3a : a part of a historical or sociological series representing a period or a stage of developmentb : a socioeconomic level of society comprising persons of the same or similar status especially with regard to education or culture
4 : one of a series of layers, levels, or gradations in an ordered system strata of thought
5 : a statistical subpopulation
Is strata singular or plural?
The plural strata has occasionally been used as a singular since the 18th century and is sometimes given the plural stratas. there was a strata of Paris which mere criticism of books fails to get hold of — Ezra Pound a Roman burial ground suggests stratas of corruption and decay — Connie Fletcher, Booklist Current evidence shows senses 2, 3b, and 4 so used, with sense 3b the most common. Singular strata is persistent but not frequent. Strata may someday establish itself as a singular like agenda, but that use is still not established.
Examples of stratum in a Sentence
the lower strata of society have been hit especially hard by this economic downturn
the level of writing in that pop novel is several strata beneath that of serious fiction
Recent Examples of stratum from the Web
Another fossil collected from the same strata and location as the seed fern is of an insect that looks very much like a cockroach of today.
These two social groups—and, most likely, different social strata—are crashing into each other, much like Dave Matthews prophesied they would long ago.
Paleontologists have known this for decades now, pulling one grinning mysticete after another from strata all over the world.
Chaupadi can be disruptive to the lives and families of women and affects women of all social strata.
Rock, in the right spot, is a record of planetary history, eras as long as millions of years flattened by the forces of geological time into strata with amplitudes of just inches, or just an inch, or even less.
Homemade raspberry pop tarts, a sausage-and-egg strata with Swiss chard, and a blueberry ricotta tart were on the menu — as were copious glasses of wine.
Most medicines are typically not well-absorbed through the skin because of a tough-to-penetrate layer called the stratum corneum, Prausnitz said.
In Dothan and Charlottesville, Wozniak, 29, competed alongside a special stratum of players struggling to claw their way out of tennis’s underappreciated lower rungs.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stratum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In geology, a stratum is a layer of rock or soil that is distinct from those above and below it. Rock and soil strata (notice the plural form) can be seen in road cuts, cliffs, quarries, riverbanks, and sand dunes, and in pieces of limestone, slate, and shale. Archaeologists digging in historical sites are careful to note the stratum where each artifact is found. Earth scientists divide the earth's atmosphere into strata, just as oceanographers divide the ocean's depths into strata. And for social scientists, a stratum is a group of people who are similar in some way, such as education, culture, or income.
STRATUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of stratum for English Language Learners
: one of usually many layers of a substance (such as rock)
: a level of society made up of people of the same rank or position
STRATUM Defined for Kids
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