substratum

noun

sub·​stra·​tum ˈsəb-ˌstrā-təm How to pronounce substratum (audio)
-ˌstra-;
ˌsəb-ˈstrā-,
-ˈstra-
plural substrata ˈsəb-ˌstrā-tə How to pronounce substratum (audio)
-ˌstra-;
ˌsəb-ˈstrā-,
-ˈstra-
: an underlying support : foundation: such as
a
: substance that is a permanent subject of qualities or phenomena
b
: the material of which something is made and from which it derives its special qualities
c
: a layer beneath the surface soil
specifically : subsoil
e
linguistics : a component of a language (such as a part of its phonology, syntax, or lexicon) that remains from absorption of a pre-existing language in the region where the language is currently spoken
substratal
ˈsəb-ˌstrā-tᵊl How to pronounce substratum (audio)
-ˌstra-;
ˌsəb-ˈstrā-
-ˈstra-
adjective

Examples of substratum in a Sentence

drilled into the bedrock substratum
Recent Examples on the Web In this model the modern Turks and Kurds would also be reflective of this ancient substratum, being more insulated from Sub-Saharan admixture as well as the population movements of Arabian tribes from the peninsula in the first century or so of Islam. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 9 Aug. 2012 Precisely, the Uygurs are descended from Northeast Asian Turks, who assimilated an Indo-European speaking substratum. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 7 Sep. 2012 This may be a case where the original cultural substratum has an outsized impact (the dialect of eastern New England, made famous by the Catholic Irish of Boston, is descended from East Anglian English!). Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 30 Dec. 2011 Southeast Asians are derived from several pulses of farmers from the fringes of what became southern China, but absorbing an ancient earlier substratum. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 29 Apr. 2012 The suffix -core comes from hard core, which at first (1841) referred to broken bricks or stones that formed the hard substratum of roads and foundations. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Feb. 2022 Sessions is speaking to a real perception of a significant substratum of the American citizenry. Christopher Shea, Vox, 1 Aug. 2018 Severance occurs when the tail tip adheres to the substratum and the rest of the planarian pulls away. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, 23 May 2018 Even here, though, abyssal tuba notes exposed a sonic substratum. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 21 Apr. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'substratum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Medieval Latin, from Latin, neuter of substratus, past participle of substernere to spread under, from sub- + sternere to spread — more at strew

First Known Use

1631, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of substratum was in 1631

Dictionary Entries Near substratum

Cite this Entry

“Substratum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/substratum. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

substratum

noun
sub·​stra·​tum ˈsəb-ˌstrāt-əm How to pronounce substratum (audio)
-ˌstrat-
: an underlying support or layer: as
a
: the material of which something is made
b
: a layer beneath the surface layer of soil : subsoil

Medical Definition

substratum

noun
plural substrata -ə How to pronounce substratum (audio)
1
: the material of which something is made and from which it derives its special qualities
2

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