sub·​duc·​tion | \ (ˌ)səb-ˈdək-shən How to pronounce subduction (audio) \

Definition of subduction

: the action or process in plate tectonics of the edge of one crustal plate descending below the edge of another

Other Words from subduction

subduct \ (ˌ)səb-​ˈdəkt How to pronounce subduction (audio) \ verb

Examples of subduction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is especially true at subduction faults under the ocean, which require special seafloor monitoring rather than GPS. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 26 May 2021 The expected subduction would cause the entire area to abruptly sink up to seven feet; the shaking could cause liquefaction of sandy soils before the tsunami reached shore. New York Times, 7 Feb. 2022 Beneath the Cascade Volcanic Province, a dense oceanic plate sinks beneath the North American Plate; a process known as subduction. David Bressan, Forbes, 18 May 2021 The Pacific Ocean, for its part, is full of subduction zones, or places where oceanic plates are sinking down into continental plates and then into Earth’s mantle. Stav Dimitropoulos, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2022 The problem is the Cascadia subduction zone, or CSZ. Bruce Barcott, Outside Online, 25 Aug. 2011 The study estimated that a major earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone would result in 95 million to 194 million gallons (432 million to 882 million liters) of fuels gushing from the tanks. Andrew Selsky, ajc, 9 Feb. 2022 The Blanco zone is much farther west of the more concerning Cascadia subduction zone and rarely leads to destructive quakes, according to earthquake experts. oregonlive, 15 Dec. 2021 In shallower areas of subduction zones, less than 19 miles beneath the earth’s surface, the plates are held in place by friction as tension builds while one slides beneath the other. oregonlive, 21 Oct. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of subduction

1970, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subduction

French, from Late Latin subduction-, subductio withdrawal, from Latin subducere to withdraw, from sub- + ducere to draw — more at tow entry 1

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The first known use of subduction was in 1970

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Last Updated

6 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Subduction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on subduction

Nglish: Translation of subduction for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about subduction


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